A 32-year-old vulcanizer named Chidozie Onyinchiz was sentenced to death by hanging on Tuesday in an Ikeja Special Offenses Court presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada for stealing N57,000 belonging to a nurse.
The three-count indictment against Onyinchiz of conspiracy, armed robbery, and membership in an illegal society was found to have been proven by the prosecution, according to Justice Dada.
The convict’s attempt to evade the charges, according to Dada, was fruitless.
This, she said was because he had earlier confirmed to the police at Igando, Lagos, that his victim, Mrs Veronica Uwayzor sighted him and they both recognised each other at the time of the offence.
“The defendant had stated that the complainant pointed at him as one of the boys armed with a pair of scissors and forcefully snatched her bag containing N57,000 at Akesan Bus Stop.
“The complainant had stated that neither the defendant nor his accomplice, Ediri Endurance, (still at large) wore masks which made it possible for her to easily recognise Onyinchiz few hours after the robbery.
“The first statement of the defendant which he made at Igando Police Station confirmed that he and Ediri went to Akesan Bus Stop on the day of the robbery.
“Onyinchiz admitted to belonging to an unlawful society as he stated that: `this is my first time of coming to Akesan to steal. I was initiated into Eiye Confraternity in 2009 but I have not killed before.’
“The same information of him being a vulcaniser was also contained in the statement he made at Igando police station and the one he made at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad office at Ikeja.
“In his confessional statement, Onyinchiz stated that he met Ediri Endurance in a public bus and Endurance took him to his father’s house after the bus developed fault.
“He also stated that they ended up sleeping in an uncompleted building because Endurance’s father did not open the door for them to spend the night in his house.
“The statement corroborated the submission of the victim that she was accosted at about 4.30 a.m. by two boys holding an iron rod and a pair of scissors on the day of the incident.
“She said the two boys were the ones who robbed her.
“The totality of the evidence before the court is compelling and I find the defendant guilty of the charges preferred against him.
“He is hereby sentenced to death by hanging and may God have mercy on his soul,’’ Justice Dada said.
The state prosecutor, Mrs Afolake Onayinka had earlier told the court the convict committed the offences with an accomplice still at large on Aug.12, 2018.
Onayinka submitted that the complainant ran into a white garment church after the defendant robbed her.
The shepherd of the church alerted landlords in the area which led to the arrest of Onyinchiz while Endurance escaped, she said.
Onayinka submitted that the offences contravened the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.