By Sunmola Olowookere
A man in his early 20s, Rilwan Rasheed who stabbed a motorcyclist to death and stole his motorcycle, has been sentenced to death by hanging by an Akure High Court.
Rashed was charged with a two count charge of murder and armed robbery but he entered a “not guilty” plea when the charges were read to him . According to the prosecution, the accused person had stabbed to death one Thomas Amusan, with a knife and stole his motorcycle in Ile -Oluji.
During the hearing, the father of the deceased, Oluwafemi Amusan while testifying before the court said he was worried when by 9p.m, his son had not returned home from his motorcycle (Okada) business on the fateful day.
He said further that he therefore reported at the Ile-Oluji police station that his son was missing, adding that he was later called to identify the corpse of his son at the mortuary of General Hospital, Ile Oluji.
Pa. Amusan said that he saw where his son had been stabbed in his belly while identifying the corpse to the police.
In her testimony before the court, one Funke Emmanuel said it was her son who gave the motorcycle to the deceased and it was agreed that he would be delivering a certain amount each day.
She said when they learnt that the deceased got missing, they also looked for him.
She stated that some days later, she saw the accused person with the missing motorcycle and challenged him, questioning him on how he got the motorcycle.
She narrated that he claimed someone gave it to him and left with the promise of call the owner.
She said when he returned he came with another motorcycle and lied that he had returned the first motorcycle to the owner.
She stated that by then, her son, Faith Emmanuel had arrived and they took the accused person to the police station.
Police witness, Inspector Dayo Adaran said that the case was brought to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department on August 9, 2018 from Ile-Oluji, along with the exhibits.
He stated that the accused person later confessed and took them to where he hid the motorcycle and also surrendered the knife he used to stab the deceased.
The Presiding Judge observed that autopsy was not carried out on the deceased as his family was not well disposed to the idea.
The judge admitted as exhibits the following items; a knife, a bloodied cloth, statements of complainants and the defendant.
After calling three witnesses, the prosecution closed its case and the defence opened its case by calling the accused person as its sole witness.
The accused person who was a bricklayer at the time he committed the crime, claimed that he was innocent of the crime he was alleged to have committed.
He also claimed that the policemen that arrested him did not tell him his offence and that he only got to know what he was alleged of when he was remanded at Olokuta Prison custody.
He told the court that he did not make any statement at all and that the police only forced him to sign a piece of paper after torturing him.
He further claimed that he could not understand what was written on the paper as he could neither read nor write.
He denied ever confessing to any crime and that he did not take the police to any crime scene while no motorcycle was recovered from him.
Justice Samuel Bola while considering the facts of the case laid before him by the prosecution, said that though the accused person was not arrested at the crime scene and the motorcycle was not tendered as evidence, circumstantial evidence points to the guilt of the accused person.
He observed that a motorcycle along with the motorcyclist got missing, the motorcyclist turned up dead and the motorcycle was found with the accused person stating that the person, found with the motorcycle indeed had motive to kill the deceased.
While delivering his judgement, Justice Bola held that the prosecution has proven its case against the accused person beyond reasonable doubt.
He found the accused person guilty of the two count-charge, convicted him and sentenced him to death by hanging.