Nigeria: “Evangelist and Five Others Sentenced to Death for Bank Robberies in Ondo State”

Nigeria: “Evangelist and Five Others Sentenced to Death for Bank Robberies in Ondo State”

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

In a recent verdict, an Akure High Court in Ondo State sentenced a well-known local Evangelist, Adewale Adelu, alongside five others, to death by hanging for their involvement in bank robberies that occurred thirteen years ago. The court found the convicts, which include Ikechuckwu Maduagwu, Fayemi Olubusuyi, Ropo Adeleye, Dele Otopka, and Bayo Omotosho, guilty of robbing two commercial banks in Akure and Idanre on November 19 and December 8, 2011.

Delivering the judgement, Justice Yemi Fasanmi affirmed that the prosecution had convincingly established the crime of armed robbery against all the accused individuals. The convicts were initially arraigned on July 14, 2022, and charged with conspiracy, armed robbery, and illegal possession of firearms. They were subsequently remanded in the Olokuta Correctional Centre.

According to the Prosecuting Counsel, F.K Salami, the convicts, armed with AK 47 guns, dynamite, and other dangerous weapons, conspired to rob Diamond Bank Plc and First Bank Plc. The incidents occurred at Oyemekun road, Akure, where they stole N30 million and various valuables, and Yaba Road, Idanre, where they took away N4 million, respectively. Additionally, the robbers attacked a church near Adaba FM, Ilara-Mokin, and robbed two pastors of their cars.

During the trial, a bank staff testified about the armed robbers’ entry into the banking hall and their violent actions, which resulted in the death of a policeman. The defendants confessed to their participation in the robberies, detailing their roles and cooperation with robbers from other regions. They also revealed the distribution of the stolen money among themselves.

Although no direct eyewitness or evidence linked the defendants to the crimes, Justice Fasanmi emphasized that their confessions aligned with the prosecution’s testimonies and the circumstances of their arrest. He underscored the role of Evangelist Adelu in coordinating the robberies via phone calls and sentenced the six defendants to death by hanging for each count.

In conclusion, the court’s decision to impose the death penalty serves as a deterrent to potential criminals and underscores the importance of justice in maintaining law and order in society.

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