Ondo Community Leader Sentenced To Death By Hanging For Murder

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An Ondo State High Court has sentenced a 78-year-old community leader, Ojo Komolafe, to death by hanging, over the murder of a School Proprietor, Taofik Babalola.

Komolafe, who pleaded not guilty, reportedly killed his victim with a gun in the year 2021.

He was said to have committed the offence on August 7, 2021, at the Kajola area of Odigbo council area.

The deceased was reportedly sleeping when he was shot at close range.

Police prosecutor, H.M. Falowo, called four witnesses, which included the deceased’s wife; a neighbour; a police officer and a pathologist.

Giving evidence, the wife of the deceased, Mrs Babalola, said she heard a gunshot and immediately ran out and saw the convict holding a gun.

According to her ” I saw the defendant coming out of my husband’s room and then I took to my heels with the fear that he could also shoot me.

“Thereafter, I rushed to my husband’s room and met him on his bed in the pool of his blood, shouting with his last breath that Mr Komolafe shot him.

“I rushed out and called people to come to my aid, but my husband died in the process,” she narrated.

However, the convict denied the allegation saying the deceased’s wife was asked to implicate him.

Komolafe said some suspected cult members he reported a case of arson against conspired with the deceased’s wife to lie against him.

He said he was in his house with his wife when he also heard the gunshot that killed the victim

However, in his ruling, Justice Yemi Fasanmi, said there were contradictions in the defendant’s statement.

Fasanmi described that the claim that some people conspired against the convict was mere assumption.

He said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and that there was direct evidence that linked the convict to the scene of the crime as well as being responsible for the death of the deceased.

The Judge said that ” It is my finding that the defendant caused the death of the deceased by shooting him with a gun at a close rage, which subsequently led to his death.

“The deceased was also seen fleeing the place of the crime.

“On the whole, I find the defendant guilty of the two counts as charged.”

Justice Fasanmi added that “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.”
 

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