An Ekiti State High Court, sitting in Ado Ekiti, has sentenced 36-year-old Fakorede Olawale and 39-year-old Tunji Olaitan to death for armed robbery.
The two men were tried on three counts bordering on attempted murder, attempted rape and armed robbery.
The charge read, “The defendants on November 24, 2015, at the Adehun area, beside Petim Sawmill, Iworoko Road, Ado Ekiti, within the jurisdiction of the court, did attempt to murder, attempt to rape and rob one Titilope Ayeni on the same day.
“The offences are contrary to sections 320 and 559 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. C16 Laws of Ekiti State, 2012, also Section 1(2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. R11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
In her statement to the police, the victim, a 53-year-old lecturer, said, “I was about to sleep around 8pm when my generator suddenly stopped working. I went to check what happened to it; in the process, the defendants emerged from my compound.
“Before I said a word, they started cutting me with machetes. I shouted, as I defended my head and face. They dragged me inside my room and attempted to rape me, but they got distracted when my phone rang.
“Thereafter, they tried unsuccessfully to dump me inside my well. Following my shout, my neighbours called the police who came on time in a patrol van. One of the robbers, Fakorede Olawale, escaped with my N15,000 cash, my gold valued at $350, my phone, ATM cards and other valuables I cannot remember. He was later arrested.
“I was taken to a hospital by the police for treatment due to the deep machete cuts sustained in both arms.
“Olawale had once broken into my house and was arrested. That time, he was charged to court, but later released on bail. He had threatened to kill me until he came back with his gangs.”
The police prosecutor, Gbemiga Adaramola, called four witnesses and tendered the victim’s photographs, statements, and bond to release recovered items to the owner, among others, as exhibits.
The defendants spoke in their own defence through their counsel and did not call any witness.
They urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
Justice Adeniyi Familoni said the prosecution proved the offences of attempted murder, attempted rape and armed robbery against the first defendant and attempted murder and armed robbery against the second defendant.
The judge said, “On count one, attempted murder, the two defendants are sentenced to life imprisonment. On count two, attempted rape, the first defendant is sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment without a fine option, while the second defendant is discharged and acquitted.
“On count three, armed robbery, the two defendants are sentenced to death. May the Lord have mercy on your souls.”