By Dayo Johnson
By Dayo Johnson
TWO landmark court judgements delivered by the same High Court Judge in Ondo State, Justice Samuel Bola have sent jitters down the spines of all convicted persons across the courts in the state.
Justice Bola had sentenced two killer boyfriends to death by hanging within a two-day interval.
While the 25-year-old killer boyfriend, Chukwudi Onweniwe of an HND student of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Nifemi Adeyeoye, aged 22, got his death ticket on March 25, his co-traveller, Seidu Shakiru Adeyemi, 27 years, the killer boyfriend of the daughter of the former deputy governor of the state, Khadijat Oluboyo, 25 years, was two days later, March 27 precisely, equally sentenced to death by hanging by same law officer, Justice Bola.
But the submission of the state Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner, Adekola Olawoye, after the two court verdicts that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu was now ready to sign the death warrants, rekindled their hope that they have finally gotten justice.
But some pessimists doubt the political will of the governor to go ahead with the signing of the death warrants of convicted persons.
In fact, many have concluded that the commissioner was playing to the gallery and that it was a political statement for temporary relief because of the personality of the father of one of the victims.
Speaking on the backdrop of calls for the abolition of the death sentence in the state, Olawoye insisted that the state government had no such plan.
He said: ”Governor Rotimi Akeredolu would soon sign the death warrant of those who have been sentenced to death in the state. It was very imperative for the law to take its course, and that anybody who kills should also be killed.
“Life is not a property of anybody, nobody has the right to take the life of fellow men, except as allowed and permitted by the law.
“Even in advanced countries where they advocate the abolition of death penalty, they still kill people found guilty of murder.
“Like the judgment we just heard today, somebody killed his girlfriend and removed her body parts and buried her in his room.
“How do you expect us to abolish death sentence with that? This is the rule of law; no sentiment about it.
“When a case of this nature gets to the Supreme Court and it is confirmed that such a person should be killed, then the aspect of the governor, who has the constitutional right to confirm and sign the death sentence, will come into play.
“We have so many of them that have been convicted, but I want to assure you that my ministry will do things proactively to see that these convicts will be executed.”
Olawoye, however, declared that “Mr. Governor will sign their death warrant.”
Female lawyers back death penalties
Equally eager to see to the execution of the culprits, the International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, has called on the state government to start assenting to death penalties that had been passed on convicted persons during criminal trials.
Its chairperson in the state, Bola Joel Ogundadegbe said that the verdict will serve as a deterrent to others.
I’m glad killer didn’t go scot-free – Ex-dep gov
Meanwhile, the former deputy governor, Alhaji Lasisi has described the gruesome murder of his daughter, Khadijat, by her boyfriend as her fate.
He said: “I have accepted fate since the incident occurred and had left everything to God believing that the girl was destined to die the way she died.
“ l believe that it is God that gives and it is God that takes, so whatever happens to human beings is destined.
The verdict gladdened his heart as the killer did not go scot-free after he killed Khadijat for the money-making ritual.
“This judgement will serve as a deterrent to others. You cannot kill somebody and just go away free like that. The boy thought he would get away with the murder and that was the reason he did everything to cover his track.”