By Mosunmola Ayobami, Ilorin
Three of the eight accused persons alleged to have raped and murdered a 24-year-old University of Ilorin student, Olajide Blessing Omowumi on June 2, 2021 were on Tuesday convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.
The accused were brought before the court by the Kwara State government in suit No KWS/33c/c/2021 on 11-count charge bordering on armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms and rape.
In his judgement, Justice Ibrahim Adebayo Yusuf of the Kwara State High Court, said the three convicts were found guilty of culpable homicide punishable with death, conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to murder.
Speaking on the judgement, the prosecution counsel and former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawondo, gave summary of the judgement.
He said: “The first, second and third defendants who are the main culprits were found guilty of culpable homicide punishable with death, conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to murder. They were accordingly sentenced to death. That’s maximum. There’s no discretion for the court to exercise by virtue of the provision of the armed robbery Act, it’s death. So also by virtue of section 221 of the penal code, it’s death sentence for culpable homicide. So, they were accordingly sentenced to death.
“Although, the third defendant, who was also convicted of rape was sentenced to life imprisonment, but it’s neither here nor there. When somebody is condemned, the life imprisonment does not ameliorate anything.
“With respect to the fourth and fifth defendants, they were found guilty of conspiracy to steal and stealing of money in the bank account of the deceased. You know, after killing her, they took her ATM card, Sim card and her phone. They changed her password, through instrumentality of the fourth and fifth defendants, who are experts in computer manipulation, collected some money through transfer, totalling about N149,000. They were convicted for conspiracy and stealing/theft. They were accordingly sentenced to three years imprisonment to run concurrently. For conspiracy, one year, for main offence three years, commencing from the date of their arrest. They’ve spent about one and half years already in custody.
“The other three: sixth, seventh and eighth escaped by the whiskers. They are very lucky. If you look at their involvement, they only assisted to dispose of property stolen.
“The irony of it all is that all those involved are very young men of 19, 23 etc. It’s quite unfortunate. And that tells that we have to work on our future in this country.”
The eight suspects brought before court on allegations of rape and murder of Ms Olajide are; Abdulazeez Ismail, Ajala Moses Oluwatimileyin (aka Jacklord), Oyeyemi Timileyin Omogbolahan, Abdulkarim Shuaib (aka Easy), Kareem Oshioyemi Rasheed (Rashworld), Abdullateef Abdulrahman, Daud Bashir Adebayo (aka Bashman) and Akande Taiye Oladoja,
It would be recalled that the Kwara State Police Command had confirmed the suspected rape and murder of Ms Olajide in her residence located at Tanke area of the Ilorin metropolis on June 2, 2021.
The deceased, who was living with her elder sister, Dr. Dupe Shittu, was a student of the Agricultural Science Department from Oke-Opin community in Ekiti Local Government Area of the state.
The defendants were brought before the court by the Kwara State government in suit No KWS/33c/c/2021 on 11-count charge bordering on armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms and rape.
Three of the defendants, Abdulazeez, Ajala and Oyeyemi, were said to have conspired among themselves “to rob one Olajide Gloria Blessing Omowumi also known as “Wumi” (now deceased) of her Samsung Galaxy A2 Core handset and carted away other items, including one black Acer aspire, one series laptop, one Samsung drive, one pink wireless mouse, one white handheld mini sewing machine, one infinix charger and one gold colour win touch tab while armed with offensive weapons, including a black wooden pistol gun.”
The prosecution also accused five others of aiding and abetting the receipt of stolen items.