By Henry Ojelu
The son of late Oba of Lagos, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, Prince Adewale Oyekan was Monday sentenced to death by an Ikeja High Court over the murder of a 62-year-old businesswoman and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaja Sikirat Ekun.
Adewale Oyekan was convicted along with a domestic staff Lateef Balogun,
The convicts who have been in custody for seven years murdered Ekun by strangling her and throwing her corpse in 1,000 feet well located in her home.
While convicting and sentencing the defendants, Justice Raliatu Adebiyi in a two-hour said that the prosecution had proved the charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder beyond reasonable doubt.
She said:”The circumstantial evidence was strong and cogent, the act of the defendants in killing the deceased was intentional and premeditated.
“The court finds that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the offence of conspiracy and murder and are accordingly found guilty of the two-count charge.
“Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 stipulates the punishment for the offence of murder as follows. Subject to the provisions of any other law, a person who commits the offence of murder shall be sentenced to death.
“Same is the punishment for conspiracy to commit murder as contained in Section 231 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
“The above cited provisions of the law does not give the court any discretion whatsoever in sentencing the defendants.
“For this reason the first and second defendants are hereby sentenced accordingly on each of count one and two to death by hanging. May God the giver of life have mercy on your soul.”
According to the state prosecution led by Mr Akin George, the convicts committed the offences at 1am on Oct. 17, 2012 at the home of the deceased located at No. 5, Babatunde Lalega St., Omole Phase One, Lagos.
The prosecution stated that the deceased was a restauranteur who knew Oyekan due to her friendship with his late mother. To render assistance to the prince, Ekun employed him as the manager of her restaurant.
“Balogun the second defendant was a former domestic staff of Ekun who was employed by her to take care of her elderly father. His employment was however terminated following a dispute with Ekun.
“The convicts conspired, killed the deceased and threw her corpse in a well within the premises of her home and took over her businesses and properties including her bus which was sold for N170,000.
“When any enquiry was made by family and friends about her whereabouts, Oyekan informed them that she had travelled to Abuja for the Ileya (Id el Kabir) festival. He passed this information by sending a text message from Ekun’s mobile phone.
“Following panic and worry from members of Ekun’s family and after an extensive search, her corpse was found two months later in December 2012 by well diggers and firefighters.
“The convicts had placed a generator, a gas cylinder and other household items on the corpse to conceal it in the 1,000 feet well,” he said.
The trial at the High Court began on April 14, 2015, five witnesses including police officers, Mr Iyiola Olaniyi, the nephew of the deceased and Mrs Folashade Amurun, the only child of the deceased testified on behalf of the prosecution.