A 44-year-old man, Rafiu Saheed, was on Thursday sentenced to death by hanging for attempting to kill a commercial motorcyclist and stealing his motorcycle.
Justice Kudirat Akano of an Osun State High Court sitting in Ede pronounced Saheed guilty of the two counts of attempted murder and armed robbery in the trial that lasted almost three years.
The offences were said to be contrary to and punishable under sections 6(b) and 1 (2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms Act, and Section 320 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 34, Laws of Osun State, 2002, and Section 1(2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap R11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, respectively.
Upon his first arraignment on November 30, 2017, the defendant pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution counsel from the Osun State Ministry of Justice, Mr Bankole Awoyemi, told the court that Saheed, a resident of Ile-Ife, on July 30, 2012, hired a commercial motorcyclist, Olaniyi Olayinka, for a trip to nearby Ipetumodu to see his brother.
On getting to Ipetumodu, the said brother was not around, and Saheed told the motorcyclist to return him to Ile Ife.
The counsel explained that during the homeward trip, Saheed attacked the okada rider with a knife, slit open his throat, left him for dead and fled the scene.
Awoyemi also said the defendant took away the victim’s motorcycle after the attack.
The counsel added that after sometime, Olayinka managed to stand and reported the matter at the nearest police station.
When Saheed was eventually apprehended, the counsel said the motorcycle was recovered from him.
The defence did not call any witness.
Julie Olorunfemi of the Legal Aid Council, who represented the defendant, pleaded for leniency.
In her judgment, Justice Akano found the Saheed guilty of the two counts and sentenced him to 14 years’ imprisonment for attempted murder and death by hanging for armed robbery.