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Man to die by hanging over N100,000 theft

Justice S.A Bola of an Akure High Court, Ondo state, has sentenced a commercial motorcyclist, (Okadaman), Yaya Bashiru, to death by hanging for stealing N100,000 and other valuables.
The convict was said to have robbed one Mrs. Bukola Ademola of her valuables and money amounting to about N100,000 on two occasions and on another occasion, stole her power generating set.
He was arraigned with one Idowu Femi, who was later discharged and acquitted by the court for lack of evidence against him.
Bashiru and Femi were brought before the court on charges of conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery on two occasions, illegal possession of firearms and stealing.
The two men had pleaded not guilty when the five-count charge was read out by the prosecution.
Testifying before the court, the complainant said, she was coming from her shop around 9p.m., when she observed a motorcycle, with two men on it, trailing her.
She said, upon alighting from her car to open the gate of the house, the two men jumped into her car and took her bag, containing a GSM phone and proceeds from the day’s sales.
According to Bukola, her husband, who could have rescued her, though in the house but had a spinal cord injury. The complainant told the court that her shout for help led to the arrest of the suspects, who shot into the air and threatened to shoot anyone that tried to stop them.
It was also alleged that the same gang had also attacked her in January last year on her way home from her shop on a motorcycle.
The plaintiff further testified that she was pulled down from the motorcycle and her bag was pulled from her grasp by the same guy, who then hit her on the head with the butt of his gun, leaving her unconscious.
The complainant claimed that a new phone and N80, 000 were in the bag that was taken from her.
The Police witness, Olakanmi Otadokun, said after the report was lodged at the Ala Police Station, police detectives started investigation and the suspects were traced through the stolen phone and the first defendant arrested around Ijoka road area, Akure with a gun in his bag.
The Investigating Police Officer had also testified that it was the confessional statement of the first accused person that led to the arrest of the second accused person.
The second defendant, Femi, claimed he was a bricklayer and was neither a robber nor did he possess a gun.
In his judgement, Justice Bola found Bashiru guilty of conspiracy, robbery and illegal possession of firearms.
He, however, said the prosecution had failed to provide any evidence linking the defendants to the stealing of the power generating set and had no concrete evidence linking the second defendant to the commission of the crimes listed in the particulars of offence.
Defence counsel, Abdurrahman Yusuf, of the Legal Aid Council, urged the court to temper justice with mercy as his client was a first offender, who has aged parents and was remorseful since being in prison custody.
The judge sentenced the first defendant to death by hanging and discharged and acquitted the second defendant.

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