A High Court, sitting in Ikirun, the headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun state, on Thursday, sentenced a 25-year-old man, Tajudeen Ganiyu, to death by hanging, for killing a 4-year-old boy, Tesleem Bakare.
Delivering the judgement, Justice Jide Falola, recalled that the convict was a customer of the grandmother of the victim, Mrs. Raliatu Bakare, who used to follow her to fetch palm in her farm.
According to the court, the convict collected N2,000 from the old grandmother of the boy and promised to do her work the following day.
“When he came the following day, he took the grandchild of 4-year-old, Tesleem, to go and buy groundnut for him and eventually went away with him.
“The disappearance of the boy got to his father, Isiaka Bakare, who launched a search for the boy and the convict.
“The convict was eventually arrested and taken to the palace of Aragbiji of Iragbiji, where he was handed over to the police. He confessed to the police to have killed the boy and led them to the bush at Iragbiji where they found the remains of the boy.
The convict was arraigned in October 2017 for conspiracy and murder, which he admitted guilty of the murder charge.
The court recalled that the other three accused were discharged after investigation and exoneration by the convict.
The court noted that the convict, during his trial on February 14, 2018, admitted guilty of murder but claimed to be mentally challenged.
Justice Falola stated that the convict could not give a satisfactory evidence of where he has been confirmed or treated for mental problem.
“The accused did not exhibit any sign of insanity in the box as observed by the court. He answered all questions satisfactorily in the box during the proceeding.
The court submitted that the young boy was slaughtered like a ram and thereby convicted the accused as charged.
The Legal Aid Council, who represented the convict, Mrs. Esther Napoleon, prayed the court to be merciful in sentencing the convict, noting that he is a first offender.
Justice Falola however, ruled that the convict should be hanged by the neck till he will die. He advised parents to be extra-vigilant and be careful of leaving their children to strangers.
The convict who was tied to the back with rope, was said to have disappeared sometimes in 2017 when he heard the cock crow.
It was gathered that the handcuff broke when the convict heard the cock crow and was later re-arrested by the police.
He has since then been taken to court with his two hands tied with rope to the back.
Efforts to speak with the convict proved abortive as prison officers prevented our correspondent from moving closer to him.
The Principal State Counsel, Mr. Jacob Ayanyemi, commended the Justice Falola for delivering the judgement without fear.