Man, 78, sentenced to death for killing school proprietor in Ondo

Court

A community leader, Ojo Komolafe, 78, has been sentenced to death by hanging by an Ondo State High Court for the murder of a school proprietor, Taofik Babalola, in 2021.

Komolafe, who pleaded not guilty to a two-count charge, was convicted of using a gun to kill Babalola in the Kajola area of Odigbo Local Government Area on August 7, 2021.

The court heard that Babalola was asleep when he was shot in the thigh by the convict.

During the trial, four witnesses were called by the prosecutor, including the deceased’s wife, a neighbour, a police officer, and a pathologist.

Mrs Babalola, the victim’s widow, testified that she heard a gunshot and saw Komolafe holding a gun in their corridor.

According to her, when she saw the convict, she ran to her husband’s room and found him on his bed in a pool of blood, shouting that Komolafe had shot him.

The convict denied the allegation, claiming that the wife of the deceased was coerced into implicating him and that some cultists he had reported for arson were involved in the conspiracy.

According to Komolafe, he was at home with his wife when he heard the gunshot.

The presiding judge, Justice Yemi Fasanmi, noted discrepancies in the defendant’s testimony and dismissed his claim of a conspiracy as mere speculation.

Justice Fasanmi concluded that the defendant was guilty of causing the death of the deceased by shooting him at close range and that the victim was seen fleeing the scene of the crime.

“You (the defendant) are hereby sentenced to be hanged on the neck until you die in the first count and seven years imprisonment for the second count,” the judge ruled.

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