An Osun State High Court sitting in Ede on Tuesday sentenced five men to death by hanging for the kidnapping and murder of a herder, Ibrahim Adamu, despite the payment of the N3 million ransom they had demanded.

The defendants— Ibrahim Issa, Lateef Bello, Abdul Ramon Soliu, Bello Ibrahim, and Abudu Mumini Jolaanobi Saheed—abducted Adamu from his residence in Owode-Ede on April 17, 2018. They took him to an isolated location where they killed him.

VERIFIED: Nigerians can now earn US Dollars with premium domains just like Americans, acquire for as low as $1200 and you profit $19000 (₦23million). Click here to start.

The men were first arraigned on October 28, 2021, on charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder, which are offenses under Sections 324, 319, and 364 of the Criminal Code Laws of Osun State. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.

During the trial, the lead prosecuting counsel from the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Moses Faremi, confirmed the date of Adamu’s abduction. The Investigating Police Officer, Mr. Ganiyu Taofeek, testified that while in custody, Adamu identified one of his abductors, which prompted the gang to kill him.

Mr. Ganiyu explained that a gang member, Abdu Mumini, directed the others, including three Togolese nationals who are still at large, to kill Adamu after he recognized one of them. He presented exhibits including extrajudicial statements and a mask allegedly used by the defendants, which was dropped at the crime scene during a struggle.

According to Mr. Ganiyu, after killing Adamu, Abdu Mumini took his head and heart, while Soliu took his arms, later dumping the remains in the Osun River. In his confessional statement, Mumini detailed why they killed Adamu and how they distributed the ransom money.

The defense counsel, Mr. Bola Ige, urged the court to temper justice with mercy, arguing that the prosecution had not proven the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Folashade Ipede of the Legal Aid Council also appealed for leniency.

However, the presiding judge, Justice Kudirat Akano, found the defendants guilty and sentenced them to death by hanging.