Killer of Human Rights Lawyer Kunle Fadipe Sentenced to Death by Hanging
27-year-old Oluwaseun Oladapo may have come to the end of his road as an Ikeja High Court, Friday, sentenced him to death by hanging for the murder of a Lagos-based human rights lawyer and social crusader, Kunle Fadipe and his mother-in-law, Mrs Cecilia Owolabi.
Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the High Court, while delivering her judgement, found Oladapo guilty on a five-count charge of murder, armed robbery and assault occasioning harm pressed against him by the state, Vanguard reports.
“On count one, you Oluwaseun Oladapo, is to be hung by the neck till you are dead. On count three, you Oluwaseun Oladapo, is to be hung by the neck till you are dead. On count four, you Oluwaseun Oladapo is sentenced to three years in prison. On count five, you Oluwaseun Oladapo is sentenced to three years in prison,” Justice Ipaye said while handing down the sentence.
“The terms of imprisonment of counts three, four and five is that they should run concurrently. This is the judgment of the court.”
This is not the first time that death by hanging would be handed down in recent times. Recently, a man who killed his wife by bathing her with acid was sentenced to die by hanging after the Lagos state government took up the case. In Jos, another man was sentenced to die by hanging after he murdered his wife and hung up her corpse.
Wife of the late human rights lawyer, Mrs Kemi Fadipe, a school proprietress, gave details of how her husband was murdered.
My husband came in late from the office at 10pm and he was preparing for a flight to Abuja the following day, we both had retired to our bedroom. Our home is a five – bedroom duplex and there was no electricity that night, the home was well lit because the generator was on. At 11.45pm, power was restored and my son Folahanmi went to put off the generator, a few minutes after he left, he came running upstairs screaming for help. He had a stab wound on his head and was being pursued by the defendant who was armed with a knife. The commotion alerted my husband and I rushed to the anti-room upstairs where we saw the defendant and Folahanmi. The defendant was saying that someone had to die today and demanded N500,000, threatening us that members of his gang had surrounded the house. We knelt down to plead with him and my husband instructed me to get a white envelope containing cash from the jacket of his suit. When the envelope was handed over to the defendant, he was dissatisfied and demanded for laptops and phones and we told him those items were downstairs. He for no reason, lunged at Folahanmi with a knife and my husband stepped in to save him and he was stabbed in his neck and his chest. My mother came out from her bedroom downstairs to investigate the source of the commotion and the defendant ran into her, stabbing her in the chest.
A security guard at the Harmony Estate residence of the Fadipe’s, Mr Bamidele Sanni, in his testimony, narrated how he shot Oladapo in the leg and rendered him immobile.
“When I got to the Fadipe home, the defendant was still difficult to subdue, I shot him in the leg to incapacitate him and I put a call to the police at the Iju Police Station.”
The convicted Oladapo, in his defence, denied murdering the human rights lawyer. According to him, he took a shortcut through Harmony Estate after leaving a viewing centre on the night of the incident.
“When I got to the Harmony Estate, an altercation occurred between me the security guard and four men, they beat me up, subdued me and shot at my leg. I fainted and woke up the hospital, I fainted again and woke up four days later at the police station,” he said in Yoruba.
While justice must be seen to be done, it is still left to be determined if death by hanging and capital punishment in general is adequate deterrent to crimes of this nature especially with the call for its abrogation from several quarters.
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