By Sunmola Olowookere
Had Adeola Adegboyega, a young man in his twenties been granted a glimpse into the nearest future and knew what fighting for his aunt’s honour would entail, he would have opted to eat the humble pie.
However, it was a bit too late for him to wail and cry for mercy as justice had demanded his head on a platter as his just dessert.
The young man who had his whole future ahead of him had been condemned to death by hanging for the murder of his brother In-law, one Olumuyiwa Adeloba by an Akure High Court.
According to witnesses, the deceased, Olumuyiwa Adeloba was in the habit of physically assaulting his wife and the last assault led to her being hospitalized at the comprehensive health centre in Ifira Akoko.
Apparently, her family members who had been privy to the ugly development between the couple had been bidding their time to deal with him.
However, their eyes saw red when the wife, an aunt to the defendant was beaten almost to the point of stupor by her husband and was admitted at the health centre, Ifira Akoko.
According to the mother of the defendant who testified as one of the defense witnesses, someone had informed them of the development at home and she had gone along with the defendant who was her son to the health centre.
They descended on the deceased and beat him black and blue while the defendant allegedly dealt him the fatal blow.
According to the first prosecution witness, Alo Ajayi, the incident took place on June 19, 2018.
He testified further that he saw the defendant along with some other people that were currently at large beating his brother. He said that one of them, a sibling to the wife, one Bisi Oniyere had torn his brother’s cloth ànd yelled at him that her sister must not die.
He explained that he had tried to restrain them but they were adamant and overpowered him.
Ajayi stated that others held stones while Adegboyega held a plank with nails and chisels during the fight and hit the deceased on the head with the plank.
The witness said his brother lost his balance and fell as he cried “they have killed me”.
He said that his assailants took to their heels while the deceased laid in a pool of his blood while his brain seeped out from the perforated skull. He was rushed to a private hospital nearby.
Also, an elder brother of the deceased, Falana Adeloba corroborated the first prosecution witness testimony and testified that on the fateful day, June 19, 2018, he had received an urgent call from the deceased that he was fighting with his wife and the woman got wounded in the process.
He stated that he went to meet them at the town’s health centre where she was admitted and saw her lying on a bed, wounded.
Falana testified that shortly after this, sister to the wife, Bisi Oniyere came in to the health center and began to fight with the deceased.
He described how he intervened in the matter and he and the deceased agreed with her to move the wife to a nearby general hospital.
According to him, the deceased had went outside with Bisi Oniyere when he heard a commotion outside.
He said that when he went out to investigate what was amiss, he saw his younger brother on the ground and the group beating him flocked round him.
He claimed that his brother was lured out by Bisi Oniyere to be beaten up by the thugs.
He said that he had screamed in shock when he got to where his brother laid with a hole on his head while blood and brain were oozing out from the opening.
He stated that the mob had taken to their heels and testified that the defendant had a plank designed with nails and screwdriver.
The incident happened at a health centre yet he had to be rushed to another facility.
Unfortunately, he gave up the ghost and he was certified dead at the private hospital and the police deposited his corpse at the morgue.
The police witness stated that they got a distress call at Isua police station and drove down to the health center at Ifira Akoko.
He testified that although the deceased had already been moved from the scene of crime, they saw the plank with which he was wounded with at the scene and took it away with them as exhibit.
While delivering the judgement, the trial judge, Justice Samuel Bola noted that the defendant had entered a “not guilty” plea while the defense called three witnesses as the prosecution closed its case after calling six witnesses.
The mother of the defendant stood as one of the witnesses. She told the court that when the incident happened, she had sent her son to get a cab so that they could move her sister to an hospital.
The judge read that one Dr. Olufemi Ariyibi of Federal Medical Center, Owo conducted an autopsy on the corpse.
The doctor noted that during his examinations, he found bruises on his face and leg bearing testimony of a violent assault.
Ariyibi wrote in his report that he also discovered a penetrating and deformative injury on the head of the deceased caused by a sharp object.
The judge held of his that the deceased and the defendant were both at the scene of crime, that the deceased did not die a natural death, that the prosecution witnesses were eye witness.
He further stated that he believed the evidence of the prosecution witnesses over that of the defense as he described the testimony of the defense witnesses as conjectures and cooked up stories.
He stated that the testimony of the prosecution witnesses were in tandem with each other and reliable.
While citing relevant authorities, he declared that the prosecution had proven the ingredients of murder against the accused person and stated that with the action of the defendant, he intended to kill the deceased.
The court declared him guilty and he was sentenced to death by hanging.
As his family members sighed audibly in dismay at the court’s judgement, he looked frantically at their faces for clarification. He was visibly shaken as it dawned on him that he had gotten the ultimate punishment despite clutching at a bible and putting up a show of prayer.