Lagos State High Court sitting at Ikeja yesterday sentenced the chairman of Boundary/Aiyetoro unit of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Saheed Arogundade, to death for killing a 32-year-old policeman, Gbenga Oladipupo.
The presiding judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, said the prosecution proved their case beyond reasonable doubt, noting that the ingredients of conspiracy to commit murder and murder were clearly proven against the convict.
She said: “I, therefore, pronounce the first defendant guilty as charged on the counts of conspiracy to commit murder and murder. The sentence of the court upon you, Saheed Arogundade, is that you be hanged from the neck until you are dead. May God have mercy upon your soul.”
The judge, however, discharged and acquitted Arogundade’s five co-defendants, Mustapha Layeni, Adebayo Abdullahi, Seyi Pabiekun, Sikiru Rufai and Yusuf Arogundade, of the two-count charge of conspiracy to commit murder and murder.
On hearing the judgement, Arogundade collapsed in the dock while his relatives cried intensely in the courtroom gallery.
The prosecutor, Mrs. C. Rotimi-Odutola, said the convict committed the offences on April 10, 2010, at Gbara Junction, Aiyetoro, Ajegunle, Lagos.
“The deceased was on a commercial motorcycle to visit his mother, Mrs. Mojisola Martins, in her home at Olayinka Street, Ajegunle, Lagos, when they were ambushed and attacked by four men at Gbara Junction.
“Oladipupo was held down by three men and the convict stabbed him multiple times before fleeing with his accomplices. The deceased, who was gravely injured, was taken to a hospital at Opaleye Junction in Ajegunle, where he died.
“Oladipupo was murdered because he purportedly encouraged the use of commercial tricycles (Keke Marwa) in the Aiyetoro area, causing loss of income for the NURTW unit,” the prosecutor said.
The offences contravene sections 234 and 316 of the Penal Code Law 2003.
During trial, eight witnesses testified for the prosecution, including Ismaila Lukman, the commercial motorcycle rider who was transporting the deceased to his mother’s home when they were ambushed, and Mrs. Mojisola Martins, the mother of the deceased.
Also, the chief medical examiner/pathologist, Lagos State, Professor John Fafunwa, a witness, Olawale Akinola, as well as five police officers testified for the prosecution during the trial, which lasted eight years.