By Mojirola Eniola
An Ikeja High Court in Lagos, on Thursday sentenced two young persons to death for robbing a supermarket manager of N5 million.
The convicts, a 20-year-old salesman, Charles Friday, and Chidiebere Ani, 21, were convicted by Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye.
“I have no doubt that the defendants are misguided youths like millions in the country.
“They are found guilty of the offences of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery.
“The defendants are to be hung by the neck until they are dead, and may the Lord Almighty have mercy upon your souls,” the judge ruled.
Earlier, during the proceedings, counsel to the convicts, Mr C.C. Ezebube, in his allocutus pleaded for mercy on behalf of the convicts.
“I plea that the court considers the age of the defendants, as they are young people who deserve another opportunity in life to contribute meaningfully to society,” Ezebube said.
However, the prosecution, led by Mr Akin George, told the court that the convicts committed the offences on Sept. 9, 2011 at Elobus Supermarket, Ago Palace Way, Okota, Ikeja, Lagos.
“Friday, a salesman, who worked at Elobus Supermarket, conspired with Ani, a trader from Alaba Market, to steal money from the supermarket.
“On the day of the robbery, based on the insider information given to Ani by Friday, Ani laid in wait underneath the stairs of the storey building housing the supermarket.
“The Manager, Mr Kingsley Obasi, between 9.00 p.m. and 9.30p.m. uses the stairs to take money to the director’s office.
“When Obasi was heading to the director’s office, he was hit at the back of the head with a metal object by Ani, who made off with N5 million belonging to the supermarket as well as the manager’s phone,” he said.
The prosecutor said that when the manager regained consciousness, he had no recollection of the robbery but the convicts were caught when Ani was overheard discussing the robbery.
“Friday was overheard discussing the robbery with Ani on the phone by his colleagues at the supermarket, who confronted him and searched his phone where messages to his accomplice were discovered,” George said.
George said that Friday led the authorities to Ani, who still had the manager’s phone in his possession as well as some of the stolen money.
According to him, the offences were in violation of Sections 295 (2)(a) and 297 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.