Three convicted armed robbers have been sentenced to death by a Delta State High Court, sitting in Issele-Uku, over robbery and murder of a farmer, Mr. Felix Uzor Biose.
Biose was reportedly killed on his farmland on June 9, 2014, by the convicts; Luka Sunday, Danjuma Kaika and Luka Agu.
Details of the Court’s decision on the convicts were contained in a statement by the Head of Protocol/PR Department, High Court of Justice, Asaba, Mr. Agbaragu, Timothy on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the convicts were arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Celestina Ogisi, on February 18, 2016, a four-count charge, bordering on conspiracy, murder, and armed robbery. They had earlier pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
“According to the prosecution and confessional statements of the First and Second Accused persons, the deceased who hailed from Onicha-Ugbo in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, was murdered on the 9th of June, 2014 in his farmland.
“The Accused persons hit the deceased with wood all over his body, including head and neck, and when they found him dead they dumped his corpse in a shallow well in his farmland. They thereafter stole his KIA car,” the statement reads.
The prosecution called six witnesses and tendered fifteen exhibits to prove its case, while the accused persons testified and called no witnesses.
Justice Ogisi, while delivering judgment on the case, dismissed the submissions of the defence counsel, urging it to discharge and acquit the accused persons, who sought to retract their extra-judicial confessional statements to the Police.
The trial contended that such denial was an attempt to throw the dust into the eyes of the court. The court further held their statements were direct, positive and have been properly proven.
It added: “While pronouncing a verdict of guilty on the 1st and 2nd accused persons on all four counts, the Court convicted the 3rd Accused person on count 1 and 11 (conspiracy to commit murder and armed robbery).
“By virtue of section 6 (b) of the Robbery and Firearms ( Special Provisions ) Act under which the Accused persons are charged, it is immaterial whether the offender is found guilty as a principal offender or as a participant, as an aider or abettor or a person who has procured the commission of the offence, he is convicted and punished as a principal offender.”
The judge, therefore, held that the prosecutions have proven the offence of conspiracy to commit murder and armed robbery against the three accused persons beyond a reasonable doubt.