A High Court in Okitipupa, Ondo State, on Tuesday sentenced a palm kernel merchant, Abayomi Timothy, 37, to death by hanging for the murder of his girlfriend .
Timothy was convicted for strangling his girlfriend, Oluwaseun Oyeyemi, 21, to death after having carnal knowledge of her.
Segun Adodo, the 35-year-old friend of Timothy, was also sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for being an accessory after he was convicted of attempting to conceal the murder by secretly disposing of the corpse by the roadside.
Justice Yemi Fasanmi said the prosecution had proved the case against the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt.
Fasanmi pointed out that murder was a capital offence attracting the death sentence, adding that the court had no discretion to exercise in the matter.
“The sentence of this court upon you, Abayomi Timothy, is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul,” he said.
Sentencing Adodo, who was the second accused person, the judge said he considered the age of the convict, the fact that he was a father, coupled with the fact that he had spent about nine years in prison.
“I am of the opinion that the experience will serve as a deterrent to other people of like minds. I therefore sentence him to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour,” he said.
The prosecutor, Mr Abimbola Oladunmiye, had called three prosecution witnesses while the defence counsel, Mr Omotayo Ogungbemi, called two witnesses.
Prosecution Witness 2 and a specialist in Forensic Pathology, Dr William Ajewole, stated in his post mortem report that the victim was strangled.
Timothy, who admitted that the deceased was his girlfriend, denied complicity in her death.
He claimed that on the date of her death, the deceased visited him in the house of his friend, Adodo, groaning and complaining of stomach ache.
“She said that one Folorunsho, a male friend, gave her drugs to use and this I suspected to be in an attempt to induce abortion,” he said.
Pleading for leniency for Timothy, the defence counsel said Adodo was married and his wife delivered a baby boy a day after his arrest and subsequently died.
Timothy was said to have strangled Oyeyemi on Nov. 6, 2004, at Ode-Erinje in Okitipupa Judicial Division.
Adodo was said to have attempted to conceal the murder on the same date while both convicts had pleaded not guilty to the charges. (NAN)