Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere High Court on Wednesday sentenced two men, Williams Udoh and Ubong Isaiah, to death by hanging for armed robbery and rape.
The trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, also sentenced Udoh to 21- year imprisonment for raping a married woman during their robbery operation.
The trial judge pronounced the convicts guilty of the five count charge bordering on conspiracy, armed robbery and rape brought against them by the Lagos State government.
Ipaye, while delivering judgment during virtual sitting of the court said the prosecution has proved its case beyond every reasonable doubt.
She held that that the offences of rape, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery were indeed committed by the defendants.
“The prosecution has successfully established that series of robberies took place on Aug. 2, 2015 and that the robbers were armed with guns and other offensive weapons.
“The failure of the state to tender the weapons does not water down the fact that the weapons were actually used.
“I am satisfied with the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, together with the graphic testimony of the PW1, there is no room for any mistaken identity that the defendants were actually those who participated in the armed robbery.
“Also, I find the testimony of PW3 credible and detailed. Penetration however slight constitutes an offence of rape.
“PW3 was able to establish that the first defendant (Udoh) raped her. She said that the defendants were not masked so she was able to identify them.
“The testimony of PW3 was also collaborated by PW2 which is cogent to establish that PW3 was indeed raped.
“Having established the offences of rape and armed robbery, the prosecution has indeed proved its case beyond every reasonable doubt.
“I therefore find you Williams Udoh and Ubong Isaiah guilty as charged.
“You shall be hung by the neck until you are dead. May God have mercy on your souls”, she said.
In respect of the first defendant, Udoh, Justice Ipaye sentenced him to 21 years imprisonment for the offence of rape.
“This is the sentence of the court,” Justice Ipaye said.
During trial, the prosecution, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, now Solicitor General, had called six witnesses. However, during trial, one of the victims Ijeoma Ojiakor told the court how the convicts raped her.
She said after raping her, the first defendant took her eight-year-old daughter to the other five gang members stationed outside to rape but that they rejected her.
The victim also said that before she was raped, the first convict hit her husband’s head with a gun and then tied him up.
In their allocutus, counsel to the defendants,Mr Emmanuel Ohonyon and Mr Jumil Bashir urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
They said that the convicts were family men with dependants.
They pleaded that “if given a second chance, they would turn a new leaf”.
The prosecution led by Ms Shitta-Bey had re-arraigned the convicts on July 13, 2017 on a five count charge to which they pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution alleged that the duo and others at large committed the offences on Aug. 2 2015, at two different residents, at Shepherd Estate, Daramola Street, Ijegun and No. 8, Ologun Ijegun, Lagos.
She said that the convicts conspired and while armed with guns and other offensive weapons like sledge harmer and machetes, robbed one Ijeoma Orjiakor and Micheal Orjiakor of phones, jewelry, one laptop and cash of N40, 000.
The prosecution also said that the first defendant (Udoh) had unlawful sexual intercourse with the 39-year-old woman.
She said that the defendants entered another build at No 8, Ologun Ijegun and robbed one Esther Adeniran of her seven handsets and a cash of N600,000.
She said that the offences contravened Sections 258(1), 295(2) and 297 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.