An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan has discharged and acquitted former Oyo State House of Assembly Chief whip, Hon. Olafisoye Akinmoyede and three others who were charged with the murder of a former member of the House of Representatives, Late Temitope Olatoye (aka Sugar).
The ex-lawmaker who represented Lagelu/Akinyele federal constituency in the lower chamber was shot at Lalupon in Lagelu Local Government and was rushed to the University College Hospital, Ibadan. But, he later died.
Morever the defendants who were freed with Akinmoyede include Alhaji Rafiu Adebayo, Alhaji Rasheed Oladele and Kazeem Ayinde.
While delivering the judgment, Justice Maruf Adegbola, said that the prosecution counsel did not bring any evidence to prove that the defendants were at the scene of the crime.
The judge also said the evidence before the court exonerated the defendants.
“The prosecution failed totally to prove any of the ingredients of the two charges preferred against the accused persons.
It will amount to turning on the defendants to prove their innocence, which is not a requirement of the Nigeria Criminal Justice System. In fact, doing so contravenes the constitutional rights of the four defendants, Section 36(5) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
“For this reason, I will not consider the evidence by the four defendants, in its defense, as the prosecution has not established any of the ingredients of the two offences charged so as to warrant the court to ask any of the four defendants to enter upon its defense.
“In conclusion, taking together the case put before me by the prosecution together with the evidence led, I am of the opinion that the prosecution failed to establish the charges preferred against the defendants, and the defendants are discharged and acquitted.”
The defense counsel, Adeboye Adetayo, who represented Michael Lana, commended the judiciary for the judgment, saying “Justice has prevailed.”