Justice Raliatu Adebiyi of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Monday convicted and sentenced Prince Adewale, the son of late Oba of Lagos, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, to death for the murder of his boss, Alhaja Sikirat Ekun.
Justice Adebiyi handed down the verdict while delivering judgment in the seven year-old case brought against the late monarch son and by the state government.
The Lagos State government had accused the condemned convict of contracted the second convict, Balogun for N6000 to murder the 62 year old businesswoman cum politician.
They were said to have strangled Ekun and threw her remains in a 1,000 feet well located in her residence.
In the two-hour long judgment, Justice Adebiyi held that the prosecution had proven the charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder beyond reasonable doubt.
The judge stated, ”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,” the court ruled.
The prosecution team, led by Akin George, had told the court that the convicts committed the offences at 1:00 am on October 17, 2012 at the home of the deceased located at No. 5, Babatunde Lalega Street, Omole Phase One, Lagos.
The prosecution stated that the deceased was a restauranteur who knew Oyekan due to her friendship with his late mother.
Due to the affinity between the women, Ekun employed the prince 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 170,000 Naira.
“When any enquiry was made by family and friends about her whereabouts, Oyekan informed them that she had traveled 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 fire fighters.
“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 stated.
The trial at the High Court started on April 14, 2015, five witnesses including police officers, Iyiola Olaniyi, the nephew of the deceased and Mrs. Folashade Amurun, the only child of the deceased gave evidence on behalf of the prosecution.
The convicts also testified in their defence where they both denied knowing each other, stating that they met for the first time at the police station.
They further denied committing the offence.
Oyekan in his evidence said that he met Ekun who was a friend of his mother at a PDP rally in 2011 after he had returned from the United States of America after obtaining a degree in architecture.
Adewale claimed that he met the deceased thereafter at her home where she offered to assist him by employing him to manage her restaurant.