An Ilorin High Court presided over by Justice S.T Umar, yesterday sentenced four men to death by hanging for criminal conspiracy and armed robbery.
Immediately after the judgment was delivered, the convicts; Ibrahim Olayiwola, AbdulWaheed Aliyu, Tunde Kareem and Omotayo Isah, broke down in tears.
The convicts were said to have robbed Rockfield Petroleum Filling Station, Odota in Ilorin, Kwara State on February 2011.
According to the prosecution, the offences contravened the provisions of Section 97 of the Penal Code and Section 1 (2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special provisions) Act, CAP R11 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
In his ruling, Justice Umar said the prosecution proved its case against the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt.
“There is sufficient evidence to establish that the four convicts conspired among themselves and robbed the petroleum attendants of Rockfield Petroleum Filling Station, Odota, Ilorin on 18/02/2011 armed with gun contrary to the provisions of Section 97 of the Penal Code and Section 1 (2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special provisions) Act, CAP R11 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004. They are accordingly sentenced to death by hanging”, the judge said.
Counsel to the first suspect, Raphael Ashaolu, had argued that Olayiwola was not at the scene of the incident but was arrested as one of the suspects.
However, counsel to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th accused persons, Abdul Hameed, Abdul Gegele and Kamaldeen Gambari, respectively, pleaded an alibi, which the court rejected on the grounds that while at the police station, the alibi was not among the pleas.
The judge among other grounds in arriving at the death sentence, relied on the confessional statement made at the police station by the accused persons.
Reacting to the verdict, one of the accused persons’ counsel, Gegele said they would appeal the judgment.