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Court sentences three to death by hanging over rape, murder of Unilorin undergraduate



Three of the eight accused persons alleged to have raped and murdered a 24-year-old University of Ilorin student, Olajide Blessing Omowumi, on June 2, 2021, have been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.

An earlier report by NewsWireNGR noted that the 300-level student of the Agricultural Science Department was raped to death in her Tanke, Ilorin home.

The rapist left a note on the lifeless body of the victim that read “No forgiveness from the University of Ilorin”. The identification card of the student was also placed on the body.

Confirming the incident at the time, the Kwara Police Command Commissioner of Police, said he has directed an immediate investigation and arrest of the attacker.

Narrating what transpired, the CP said; “The deceased stayed with her elder sister. The elder sister came back from work at about 06:00pm on Tuesday, saying that she had tried several times to reach her on the phone but couldn’t as the phone kept ringing.

“She came back from work to meet the door of her apartment locked and couldn’t gain entry despite repeated knocks on the door. She then called some neighbors who helped to break open the door.

“They all met the deceased lying dead on the floor when they entered with her two hands tied to the back and her mouth gagged. She was met naked, bruises were noticed on her private parts, her mouth was covered, among others.

“Also, a note said to have been written on a piece of paper was placed on her chest containing a message, ‘Unilorin doesn’t forgive’.

“The people later informed the police at F’ Division Police Station, who discovered the dead body, snapped the picture, and took the corpse to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) for autopsy.”

The accused were brought before the court by the Kwara State government in suit No KWS/33c/c/2021 on an 11-count charge bordering on armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms and rape.

In the judgement made by Justice Ibrahim Adebayo Yusuf of the Kwara state High Court, Ilorin on Tuesday, the three convicts were found guilty of culpable homicide punishable with death, conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to murder.

The 165-typewritten-page judgement, which got almost the whole courtroom shedding tears while being read by Justice Yusuf, saw even the judge weeping openly for more than two minutes while recounting the process of how the deceased was raped, leading to her death.

The judge held that the gang had the intention of theft and rape without the intention to kill, however, added that their act led to homicide.

Speaking on the judgement, the prosecution counsel and former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawondo, who started the case as Attorney General of Kwara State, concluded it as a private legal practitioner on pro bono service. He resigned to contest in the APC primaries for the 2023 general elections.

Jawondo, who spoke with journalists after the court session, gave summary of the court judgement.

“The first, second and third defendants who are the main culprits were found guilty of culpable homicide punishable with death, conspiracy to commit robbery and cospiracy to murder. They were accordingly sentenced to death. That’s maximum. There’s no discretion for the court to exercise by virtue of provision of the armed robbery Act, it’s death. So also by virtue of section 221 of the penal code, it’s death sentence for culpable homicide. So, they were accordingly sentenced to death.

“Although, the third defendant, who was also convicted of rape was sentenced to life imprisonment, but it’s neither here nor there. When somebody is condemned, the life imprisonment does not ameliorate anything.

“With respect to the fourth and fifth defendants, they were found guilty of conspiracy to steal and stealing of money in the bank account of the deceased. You know, after killing her, they took her ATM card, SIM card and her phone.

“They changed her password, through instrumentality of the fourth and fifth defendants, who are experts in computer manipulation, collected some money through transfer, totalling about N149,000.

“They were convicted for conspiracy and stealing/theft. They were accordingly sentenced to three years imprisonment to run concurrently. For conspiracy, one year, for main offence three years, commencing from the date of their arrest. They’ve spent about one and half years already in custody.

The other three: sixth, seventh and eighth escaped by whiskers. They are very lucky. If you look at their involvement, they only assisted to dispose of property stolen.

“The irony of it all is that all those involved are very young men of 19, 23 etc. It’s quite unfortunate. And that tells that we have to work on our future in this country,” he said.

Eight accused persons were brought before the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin on allegations of rape and murder of a 24-year-old University of Ilorin student, Olajide Blessing Omowumi.

The suspects; Abdulazeez Ismail, Ajala Moses Oluwatimileyin (aka Jacklord), Oyeyemi Timileyin Omogbolahan, Abdulkarim Shuaib (aka Easy), Kareem Oshioyemi Rasheed (Rashworld), Abdullateef Abdulrahman, Daud Bashir Adebayo (aka Bashman) and Akande Taiye Oladoja.

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