The Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Justice has secured the convictions of three young men who kidnapped a Lagos monarch, the Oniba of Iba, Oba Yushau Goriola Oseni. They were sentenced to death.
In a landmark ruling presided over by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja on Wednesday, 13th November, 2019 and handed down in an hour long proceedings, the trial judge stated that she found all the convicts guilty of all the charges brought against them.
The defendants were charged for the offences of conspiracy,murder,attempted murder, armed robbery and kidnapping contrary to sections 223, 230, 233, 271 (3), 297 (2)and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The convicts are, Duba Furejo alias General Cuba, (who is now paralyzed), Reuben Anthony and Yerin Fresh.
The Prosecution team led by Solicitor General/Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey presented 7 witnesses and tendered 13 exhibits which were admitted by the court.
The trial judge said she found all the convicts guilty all of the charges brought against them.
According to her, “I believe the offence of conspiracy, attempted murder, armed robbery and kidnapping leveled against the accused. I therefore find them guilty as charged. This is the judgement of the court.” She said.
However, Ms Shitta- Bey argued that maximum sentence commensurate to the offence should be given. She explained,”A heinous crime of kidnapping does not only terrorize the victims, but also the society, as nobody is safe. Consequently a statement should be made that Lagos State has zero tolerance for kidnapping,murder and armed robbery.
Justice Taiwo however reiterated that the offence have become prevalent and no one is safe.”I also state that the sentencing are statutorily imposed.” She added.
She gave the orders thus; “For causing the death of Sunday Okanlawon and Joseph Okeke a security guard, they were sentenced to death.I hereby sentence the offenders to life imprisonment for shooting Olori Abosede Goriola in the abdomen. Conspiracy to murder; 10 years. Conspiracy to commit kidnap; 10 years. Armed robbery; life imprisonment. Kidnapping; 21 years imprisonment.”
“This is the ruling of the court, sentence to run concurrently.”She said.
It will be recalled that the Government through the State House of Assembly recently enacted an anti- kidnapping law and has pledged to ensure its full implementation which is meant to send serious message to kidnappers and eradicate such heinous crime once and for all in Lagos State.