Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on Friday sentenced a 26-year-old man, Oluwaseun Oladapo, to death by hanging for the murder of a renowned human rights lawyer, Mr. Kunle Fadipe.
The convict had been arraigned before the judge on July 22, 2015 by Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
The five counts pressed against him border on murder, armed-robbery and assault occasioning harm.
The offences were said to be contrary to Section 221, 295 (2)(a) and 171 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
The DPP called five witnesses and tendered several exhibits including a flash light, a dagger, a kitchen knife, a pair of black hand gloves, a pair of slippers, a red T-shirt, a black backpack, a window blind, furniture pieces and one Nokia mobile phone.
Justice Ipaye, in her judgment on Friday, found Oladapo guilty of the entire five counts pressed against him by the state.
The judge held that she found from the evidence adduced by the prosecution that the convict stabbed Fadipe to death on the night of July 3, 2014 at the home of the deceased in Harmony Estate, Ifako Ijaiye, Lagos.
“The defendant came with a calculated intention to rob the occupants of their valuables,” the judge held.
Relying on the evidence of a consultant pathologist from the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Mr. Sunday Soyemi, who carried out a post-mortem examination on the corpse, Justice Ipaye said she found that Fadipe died from excessive blood loss, as his jugular vein was almost severed.
The pathologist, the judge noted, had also told the court that the deceased had pallet wounds, abrasion, lacerations on his jugular vein.
The pathologist had added that there was a bruise on the deceased’s head, the stomach was deeply cut and the skin covering the skull was open and emphasised that the convict stabbed the deceased in the abdomen.
Convicting Oladapo, Justice Ipaye held, “I hereby find the defendant guilty of all the counts, as the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt its case against the defendant.”
“The knife with which the murder was carried out is one of the most vicious and dangerous-looking knives I have ever seen,” the judge remarked.
However, Oladapo’s lawyer, Worter Oduagbaka, urged the judge to temper justice with mercy.
“The convict is asking for mercy, he’s a first-time offender, we’re asking this honourable court to give him a second chance.
“He’s still a young man that can still help the society,” Oduagbaka pleaded.
The prosecuting counsel, Mrs. O.A Oyindasa, urged the court to impose the the maximum punishment in the case, contending that the convict did not give the deceased a second chance too.
“The deceased was not given a second chance; his children were not given a second chance to see their father, we pray this court to impose the mandatory sentencing, My lord,” Oyindasa said.
Justice Ipaye consequently sentenced Oladapo to death by hanging.