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21 Dec 2017

Vigilantes Who Killed Undergraduates After Accusing Them of Belonging to a Cult Group Jailed 21 Years In Osun

Two vigilantes who brutally murdered some students after accusing them of being cultists have been jailed.
The two vigilantes were sentenced to 21 years imprisonment
Justice Isiaka Adeleke of the Osun High Court sitting in Ilesa has convicted and sentenced two vigilantes to 21 years imprisonment for murder without an option of fine.

The ruling was handed down on Wednesday after the convicts – Olabisi Olajuwon (42) and Kayode Opeolu – were charged with three-count of conspiracy, attempted murder and murder, to which they pleaded not guilty.

The offence contravened sections 324, 320 and 319 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun, 2003.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Dr Ajibola Basiru, led the State Chief Counsel, Mrs Rachel Ojimi, and a prosecution team from the State Ministry of Justice at the court.

Dr Ajibola had told the court that the convicts committed the crime on  September 24, 2006, at about 1:30 am in Eripa community in Otan Ayegbaju area of the state.

He said the convicts claimed to be vigilantes and stopped a motorcycle conveying three students of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree who were on their way to Ada town.

According to the commissioner, one of the students Omotayo Ogunlaja was accused of belonging to a cult group terrorising the community and he was conveyed in a van alongside his colleagues, Bashiru Saheed and Oluwole Segun, to a bush with their hands tied behind them.

While the students were said to have been shot by the convicts, Omotayo pretended to be dead after which he was pushed into the nearby ditch.

Ajibola said one of the victims was beheaded and the assailants swore an oath not to reveal the secret and if caught not to name the accomplice.

He said Omotayo later crawled out of the ditch in the early hours of September 25, 2006, and was assisted to the hospital where he volunteered his statement to the police.

The commissioner told the court that the statement led to the arrest of the convicts who also made their confessional statements.

While the prosecuting counsels called five witnesses to testify in the case during the trial, the first accused person, Wemimo Adewale, died in prison and his name was struck out from the charge.

Meanwhile, counsel to the convicts, Mr Julius Akhigbe, urged the court to temper judgement with mercy because his clients have regretted their actions.

In his judgement, Justice Adeleke held that the prosecution counsel has proven the case beyond reasonable doubt and from evidence tendered in court.

He consequently sentenced each of them to 21 years imprisonment with hard labour, beginning from Wednesday, December 20, 2017.

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