Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Tuesday, sentenced one Clement Ododomu to death by hanging over the murder of some Department of State Service (DSS) operatives in the state.
He also sentenced the co-defendant, Tiwei Monday, to 16 years in prison for the same offence.
The convicts, who were pipeline vandals, were arraigned by the Lagos State government for the murder of seven DSS officers in the Ikorodu area of the state.
The judge delivered the judgement after careful consideration of the facts before the court and the demeanour of the convicts which he described as “unremorseful.”
He said allocutus by the defence counsel, Mr. Olusegun Akande, who had on October 11 urged the court to temper justice with mercy, was replied by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Dr. Babajide Martins.
Oshodi said the DPP told the court that the offences committed by the defendants were grave and that the court should apply the maximum sentences available.
The judge said: “The court has considered the allocutus of the defence counsel, but the position of the law is binding to us all. As noted, the first defendant was convicted on counts one, five, seven, nine and 10, while the second defendant was convicted on counts one and 10.
“This is as contained in the information dated January 13, 2017. The provisions of these sections of the law are as follows:
“Count I, the count convicted the first and second defendants on the count –
“This count is brought contrary to Section 233 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015, liable to a conviction of 14 years.
“On counts five and seven, the first defendant on these counts, which is contrary to Section 233 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015, provides that anyone who commits murder shall be sentenced to death.
“On count nine, the first defendant is brought under Section 298 (3) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015, hence, liable to not less than 14 years but not more than 20 years imprisonment.
“Also, on count 10, both the first and second defendants were convicted under Section 410 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015 and is liable to two years imprisonment.”
The judge said the defence counsel’s claim that the defendants were in Lagos for the funeral of their grandmother was a lie.
Oshodi held that the defence failed to provide essential witnesses to corroborate the claim.
He, however, held that the prosecution was unable to prove that the second defendant was guilty of murder.
He said evidence before the court showed that it was one Agbala and the first defendant who killed the operatives.
The judge held that the prosecution was able to prove that the two defendants participated in the ambush of the operatives.
He, therefore, discharged and acquitted the convicts on counts two, three, four, six and eight because the prosecution was unable to prove the allegations against them.
Justice Oshodi added: “The court has observed the demeanour of the defendants and came to the conclusion that they felt no remorse with regard to the allegations they were facing.
“They informed the court that they do not understand the English language, whereas, in the recording, they both were conversing in English.
“The first and second defendants are hereby sentenced to imprisonment for 14 years for count 10 and the first and second defendants are hereby sentenced to imprisonment for two years for count 9.
“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to imprisonment for 20 years. The terms of imprisonment for both defendants will run concurrently.
“For count five and seven, which the court has found the first defendant guilty, the sentence of the court upon you is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead and may God have mercy on your soul.”