Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Tuesday sentenced one Clement Ododom to death by hanging for the murder of a State Department DSS official.
The judge also sentenced a Tiwei on Monday to 16 years in a correctional facility.
Justice Oshodi said he handed down the sentence after considering the facts before the court and the convict’s attitude, which he described as “without remorse”.
The judge said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dr. Babajide Martins, had responded to a plea by defense lawyer Olusegun Akande on October 11 that he prayed the court to have mercy and temper justice. .
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that vandal inmates have been charged with the murder of seven Department of State Services (DSS) personnel in Ikorodu area of the state.
Judge Oshodi said Martins had told the court that their crimes were serious and that the court should apply the maximum possible sentence.
The judge said: “Although the court has taken into account the views of the defense counsel, the position of the law is binding on us all.” As stated above, the first defendant was found guilty on counts 1, 5, 7, 9 and 10. As a result, the second defendant was found guilty on counts 1 and 10.
“This is contained in the information filed dated January 13, 2017. The provisions of this section of the law are as follows:
“Count I, the Count has sentenced the first and second defendants…
“This count violates Section 233 of the Lagos State Penal Code 2015 and carries a sentence of 14 years.
“In counts 5 and 7, the first defendant in these counts contravenes Section 233 of the Lagos State Penal Code, 2015, which provides that a person who commits murder shall be sentenced to death.”
Justice Oshodi said that in count 9, the first defendant was charged under Section 298(3) of the Lagos State Penal Code, 2015, which therefore carries a prison term of not less than 14 years but not more than 20 years.
Also, in count 10, both the first and second defendants were found guilty under Section 410 of the Lagos State Penal Code 2015 and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
He said the defense’s claim that the defendants were in Lagos for their grandmother’s funeral was a ploy.
Justice Oshodi ruled that the defense had failed to present key witnesses to support its case.
However, he argued that the prosecution had failed to prove that the second defendant was guilty of murder.
Justice Oshodi said the evidence before the court showed that Agbara was the only one who killed the operatives and the first defendant.
He argued that prosecutors were able to prove that the two defendants participated in the ambush of the operatives.
Therefore, he released the convicts and acquitted them on counts 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 since the prosecution could not prove their guilt.
Justice Oshodi said: “The court observed the demeanor of the defendants and came to the conclusion that they had no qualms about the allegations they were facing.
“They told the court that they did not understand English, but on the recording they both spoke in English.
“The first and second defendants are sentenced to 14 years in prison on count 10, and the first and second defendants are sentenced to two years in prison on count 9.
“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to 20 years in prison. The prison sentences of both defendants will be served concurrently.
“On counts 5 and 7 on which the court found the first defendant guilty, the court’s sentence for you is to be strangled until death. May God have mercy on your soul.”
NAN reports that the Lagos State Government submitted that the DSS received a distress call on September 14, 2015 from the editor of The Sun newspaper (name withheld) regarding the abduction of his wife at his home.
Therefore, the DSS National Command reportedly dispatched a team of nine people to carry out surveillance to ascertain the whereabouts of the kidnappers pending ransom negotiations.
Prosecutors said that in the evening one of the DSS team members, Martins Ajayi, reportedly sent a distress text message to military command stating that the team had been ambushed by vandals and that weapons had been seized. he added.
According to the prosecution, the convicts committed the crime on September 14, 2015 at Ishawo Creek, Ikorodu, Lagos.
The convicts were charged with 10 charges bordering on conspiracy to commit murder, murder and illegal possession of firearms in violation of Sections 223 and 298(3) of the 2015 Lagos State Penal Code.