By Eseoghene Emuke
An Issele-Uku High Court in Delta State has sentenced three suspects to death for the robbery and murder of a farmer, Mr. Felix Uzor Biose on 9th of June, 2014 at his farmland.
The three suspects Luka Sunday, Danjuma Kaika and Luka Agu were handed the death sentence by Justice Celestina Ogisi of Issele-Uku High Court on a four-count charge.
The conviction was contained in a statement issued by the Head of Protocol/PR Department, High Court of Justice, Asaba, Mr Agbaragu, Timothy on Wednesday.
A copy of the statement made available to WARRI TODAY says the accused persons were arraigned on the 18th February, 2016 arraigned before Justice Ogisi on charges bordering on conspiracy, murder and armed robbery.
Their crimes are punishable under sections 324 and 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Law Cap. C 21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta State, 2006, and sections 6 (b) and 1 (2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms ( Special Provisions ) Act 2004, respectively.
According to the statement, “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 convicts had earlier pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
The prosecution called six witnesses and tendered fifteen exhibits to prove its case, while the Accused persons testified and called no witness.
Justice Ogisi while delivering judgement 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 dust into the eyes of the court. The court further held that their statements were direct, positive and have been properly proved.
It added, “While pronouncing verdict of guilt 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 prosecution has proved the offence of conspiracy to commit murder and armed robbery against the the three accused persons beyond reasonable doubt.