By Wahab Akinlade
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has sentenced a pastor, Erinmole Adetokunbo, and his accomplice, Adedoyin Oyekanmi to death for killing a 7yrs old boy in Ikorodu area of the state.
Justice Taiwo gave the verdict after the defendants changed their plea from not guilty to being guilty.
The convicts were arraigned on October 30, 2017, before the Lagos State High Court on a two counts charge which borders on murder.
According to the charge sheet, Oyekanmi and Adetokunbo, on June 7, 2017, at number 6, Oke Oniburokun Street, Odokekere, Ikorodu, did conspire to murder one Kazeem Rafiu.
They were said to have beheaded Rafiu and buried the head around the church’s altar, while the body was kept in a canal.
Adetokunbo was later apprehended by residents. He was said to have confessed to the crime, naming Oyekanmi as his accomplice.
The duo led a team of policemen to the church, where the victim’s remains were recovered.
After four years of being remanded in prison custody, the state re-arraigned the convict before the Special Offences Court on September 21, 2021, and the trial commenced.
At the resumption of trial for the prosecutor to present another witness to prove the allegations against the convict, the court was informed by the state counsel, Mrs O. A. Bajulaiye and defence counsel, Ms Anthonia Otsokwa that the convicts have decided to change their plea.
Subsequently, the judge ordered their plea to be taken and it was read to them in yoruba language and they pleaded guilty to the two-count charges.
The state counsel, Mrs O. A. Bajulaiye, thereafter reviewed the facts of the case and urged the court to convict them accordingly.
Begging of mercy, defendant counsel, Ms Anthonia Otsokwa, told court that the convicts have realised their offence and remorseful for the loss of the young child.
“We plead with the court to consider a sentence with a terms of year’s” she pleaded.
In her judgement, Justice Taiwo noted that the case is a very pathetic one as the defendants consipred and did killed a young child by cutting of his head for ritual purposes.
“These defendants have committed a heinous crime and deserve no mercy. They have cruelly and intentionally killed a 7yrs old boy, this depriving him and his family bright destiny.
“Section 222 Criminal of Lagos State had imposed the death penalty for premeditated murder and I have no hesitation in imposing the said punishment.
” I hereby sentence Adedoyin Oyekanmi and Erinwole Adetokunbo to death for killing Kazeem Rafiu. May God have mercy on your souls” she ruled.