Ritual murder: Court sentences labourer to death

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A High Court sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun, on Tuesday sentenced a 39 year-old labourer, Mohammed Ibrahim, to death by hanging for murder of a two-year-old baby.

Justice Ayokunle Rotimi-Balogun, also found the convict guilty for attempt to kill one Rabi Yakubu, and accordingly sentenced him to life imprisonment.

The convict was tried and convicted on two-count charge of murder and attempted murder.

The judge held that the prosecution proved the charge of murder beyond all reasonable doubts.

She held that the convict was guilty of both charges which contravened Section of 320, 316(1) and 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun, 2006.

Earlier, the Prosecuting counsel, Mrs Oluwabumi Akinola, had told the court that the defendant  committed the offence on April 12, 2014 at Ofada town, Owode Egba in Abeokuta.

Akinola said the defendant had followed Mrs Yakubu, who had her two-year-old son strapped to her back, as she wanted to ease herself.

“On getting into the bush she dropped her baby on the ground for her to defecate, when Ibrahim attacked her with a knife, attempting to cut off her neck.

“The complainant, the mother of the two-year-old boy, struggled with Ibrahim and escaped to call for help without carrying her son.

“When Ibrahim realised he did not succeed in cutting off her head which he needed for sale, he then cut off the complainant’s son’s head,” she said.

Akinola told the court that the defendant made a confessional statement that his intention was to kill the woman and cut off her head.

She said the convict had negotiated with a woman at Ibadan in Ibode market, who was ready to pay him N120,000 for a human head.

“Unfortunately for him when he took the baby’s head to the buyer, she refused to pay the amount as promised. So he collected the head back and went to burry it,” she said

The prosecutor said police later apprehended the defendant, following Yakubu’s lodgment of the case at the police station. (NAN)

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