By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
An Ado-Ekiti High Court has sentenced a 52-year-old man, Joshua Akanbi, to 15 years imprisonment for manslaughter committed during a land dispute between Ayede- Ekiti and Itaji-Ekiti in 2017.
The convict was arraigned alongside Abiodun Ogundamisi, 40, and Segun Ogundamisi, 22, on two-count charge of conspiracy and murder preferred against them.
The trial judge, Justice Toyin Abodunde, held that evidence before the court proved that Akanbi was guilty of manslaughter for opening fire on one Seyi Oladipupo during a dispute when the two communities were laying claim to Orisunmibare farm settlement which later caused the victim’s death.
Justice Abodunde ruled that evidence before the court was not enough to find the accused persons guilty of murder under Section 316 of Criminal Code Cap C16 Laws of Ekiti State 2012 and subsequently discharged them of the charge.
The court consequently found the convict guilty of manslaughter for shooting the deceased contravening Section 319 and 326 Cap 6 Laws of Ekiti State 2012.
An argument ensued between the two contending parties who invaded the land with weapons accusing one another of trespass.
The convict reportedly opened fire when an attempt was made to disarm him of the gun he was holding.
The accused persons were first arraigned on 6th July, 2017 when the charges were read to them to which they pleaded not guilty.
During the incident which occurred on 31st January, 2017 at the farm settlement, the deceased was rushed to the nearest hospital after being shot but later died owing to excessive loss of blood according to the medical personnel who conducted post mortem examination on the body at Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital.
To prove the case against the convict, the Solicitor General, Mr. Babatope Ojo, called seven witnesses including the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) and the medical doctor.
Exhibits tendered include one pump action gun, photographs taken at the scene of the incident, live cartridges and statements of the accused persons.
The accused persons in their defence through their counsel, Mr. Sule Longe, called eight witnesses and also tendered photographs of the machete wounds sustained by the convict and the statements volunteered to the Police.