Lagos High Court, Ikeja yesterday sentenced to death son of former Oba of Lagos, Prince Adewale Oyekan, 50, and a former domestic servant, Lateef Balogun, 27, for the murder of Alhaja Sikirat Ekun, a 62-year-old businesswoman and politician.
The convicts, who have been in custody for seven years, murdered Ekun by strangling her and throwing her body into a 1,000-feet well.
Justice Raliatu Adebiyi said the prosecution proved the charges of conspiracy and murder beyond reasonable doubt.
She said: “The circumstantial evidence was strong and cogent; the act of the defendants in killing the deceased was intentional and premeditated. The court finds that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the offences of conspiracy and murder, and the defendants are accordingly found guilty of the two-count charge.”
Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, prescribes that a person, who commits the offence of murder shall be sentenced to death. Same is the punishment for conspiracy to commit murder as contained in Section 231 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The judge said the provisions of the above section do not give the court any discretion whatsoever in sentencing the defendants. For this reason, she said, the first and second defendants are hereby sentenced to death by hanging. “May God, the giver of life, have mercy on your souls,” she said.
According to the prosecution led by Mr. Akin George, the convicts committed the murder around 1am on October 17, 2012, at the home of the deceased located at No. 5, Babatunde Lalega Street, Omole Phase One, Lagos State.
The prosecution said the deceased employed the Prince as the manager of her restaurant while Balogun, the second defendant, is her former domestic staff.
According to the prosecution, “the convicts conspired, killed the deceased and threw her body in a well within the premises of her home, and took over her businesses and property, including a bus, which was sold for N170,000.
“When any inquiry was made by family and friends about her whereabouts, Oyekan informed them that she travelled to Abuja for the Ileya (Eid-el Kabir) festival. He passed this information by sending a text message from Ekun’s mobile phone.
“Following worry from members of Ekun’s family, and after an extensive search, her body was found two months later, in December 2012, by well diggers and fire fighters. The convicts had placed a generator, a gas cylinder and other household items on the body to conceal it in the 1,000 feet well,” he said.