FORMER factional Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Oyo State, Alhaji Lamidi Mukaila, a.k.a. Auxiliary and four other accused persons, were on Monday, convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment by an Oyo State High Court for their involvement in a crisis that claimed lives of some innocent people in Ibadan, in March 2014.
Alhaji Mukaila and other members of the union, Saheed Kareem, Abu Kareem, Kazeem Kayode and Taiwo Tijani had been standing trial for the mayhem at Iwo Road interchange, Ibadan.
Among the victims was one Adekunle Oladipupo, who was studying medicine at a university in the North at the time of his untimely death.
He was first arraigned at the state Magistrate’s Court, Iyaganku on two counts charge before the case was transferred to the state High court.
Yesterday at the High court, counsel to the accused persons, Mr Olalekan Ojo, said his clients would appeal the judgment, adding that since the court had acquitted and discharged them of murder and attempted murder, the conspiracy for which they were convicted did not exist.
While delivering judgment on the case, Justice Eni Esan, said the accused persons were charged with a three-count charge of conspiracy, murder and attempted murder.
Justice Esan further noted that the prosecution witness, one Akeem Agbaje, in his evidence told the court he was beside Adekunle Oladipupo on the said day when the accused persons, with others at large, stormed the motor park in a Peugeot 604 belonging to Alhaji Mukaila and two other Micra cars, shooting sporadically.
The witness went further that it was during the shooting that bullet hit the deceased who died immediately, adding that he too, sustained serious injuries.
Justice Esan also said during cross examination, that the PW 1 told the court that although the incident occurred around 9:45p.m., he was able to identify the accused persons with the help of head lights of the cars that lit up the place.
The judge said he was not convinced that the witness could identify the accused persons using the head lights.
On the allegations of attempted murder, the judge held that since the argument of the PW 1 had failed by identifying the accused through vehicle head light, the charge could not stand because it was already late in the night.
The court ruled that since the first accused person admitted that he owned guns and the accused were caught in a car with rounds of bullet, they were guilty of conspiracy and sentenced to six years imprisonment each.
The prosecution counsel from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Abdulganiyu, abided by the judgment while Lekan Ojo, counsel to the accused, pleaded with the court, after finding his client guilty, to reduce the jail term because he was a first offender and has a family to cater for.