Ekiti court sentences dismissed soldier, other to death for armed robbery

An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has sentenced a 36-year-old former soldier, Olasoji Damilola, and a 32-year-old man, Benson Koiki, to death by hanging for armed robbery.

The court also sentenced the two persons and a 30-year-old man, Tunde Ogbesetuyi, to life imprisonment for conspiracy and attempted robbery.

The three convicts were tried and found guilty on four counts bordering on conspiracy, attempted robbery and armed robbery.

The charges read in part, “The three defendants on March 10, 2016, conspired and attempted to rob a petrol filling station along Ikere Road, Ado Ekiti.

“Also, on May 15, 2016, Olasoji Damilola, a soldier who was court-marshalled and dismissed during the pendency of the case alongside Benson Koiki, conspired with others and robbed one Oluwadare Adebayo at a filling station in Odo-Ado, Ado Ekiti, and carted away the sum of N1,204,750. As of the time of the robbery, they were armed with guns and other weapons.

“The offences run contrary to sections 6(b) and 1 (2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. RII, Vol.14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

In his testimony, the victim told the court that around 6.30pm on May 15, 2016, the convicts came to the filling station, pretending to buy fuel.

He said the convicts forced their way into the station’s bulk room, adding that while begging them, one of them slapped him, while the other hit his head with the butt of his gun, following which he became unconscious.

According to him, Koiki escaped with the money, while Damilola was arrested at the scene.

The prosecutor, Olawale Fapohunda, SAN, who is the Ekiti State Attorney General, called two witnesses and tendered a wallet, two passport photographs, an Army identity card and statements of the defendants, among others, as exhibits.

The defendants, who spoke through their counsel, called one witness.

In his judgment on Monday, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye said the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt elements of the offences of conspiracy, attempted robbery and armed robbery against the defendants.

He said, “In all, the sole issue for determination is resolved in favour of the prosecution. On count two (armed robbery), the first and second defendants, Olasoji Damilola and Benson Koiki, are sentenced to death by hanging on the neck until they die. May God Almighty have mercy upon your souls.

“On counts one, three and four, the three defendants are sentenced to life imprisonment for offences of conspiracy and attempted robbery.”

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