By Marcus Ikechukwu
An Akure High Court has delivered judgement on the matter bothering on the killing of Mrs. Funke Olakuri, daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti by four accused persons.
Delivering the judgement, the trial judge, Justice Williams Rotimi Olamide convicted three among the accused to death, while one of them was discharged and acquitted.
Muhammed Shehu Usman, Mazaje Lawal, and Adamu Adamu were convicted and sentenced to death either by hanging or firing squad for conspiracy, murder, kidnapping and armed robbery among others.
Awalu Abubakar, the fourth accused, was discharged and acquitted of conspiracy, aiding and abetting preferred against him.
On July 12, 2019, Mrs Olakunri was killed along Ore/Ijebu-Ode Road in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State axis while travelling from Akure to Lagos.
Her driver, Femi Ajayi, was abducted by the killers held captive for seven days.
The prosecution told the court that the convicts then attacked and killed a hunter, Matthew Ogunbiyi, in the forest.
A German-Nigerian was also said to have been kidnapped by the same convicts but was released after payment of ransom.
At the arrest of the convicts then, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Charles Titiloye preferred eight-count charge against them, including murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, aiding and abetting.
Handing down his verdict, the trial judge held that the prosecution was able to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, the case of conspiracy to murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and aiding and abetting against the first to third defendants.
He, therefore, sentenced the first three accused to death either by handing or firing squad, but discharged the fourth suspect, Awalu Abubakar of conspiracy, aiding and abetting
Justice Olamide, however, commiserated with the family of the victim, tasking government at all levels to tackle insecurity and other crimes in the country, particularly rape, kidnapping and murder which noted had become rampant.