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78-year-old man handed death penalty over murder of school owner in Ondo

A High Court in Ondo State has convicted a 78-year-old community leader, Ojo Komolafe, to death by hanging for killing a school owner, Taofik Babalola, in Ondo State.

Komolafe, was found guilty of murdering Babalola on August 7, 2021, in Kajola, Odigbo Local Government Area, in spite of his “not guilty” plea to a two-count accusation.

The court was informed that the offender shot the deceased, who had fallen asleep, in the thigh.

The prosecutor had the wife of the late Babalola, a neighbour, a police officer, and a pathologist as his four witnesses throughout the trial.

The victim’s widow, Mrs. Babalola, testified that she saw Komolafe holding a gun in their hallway after she heard a gunshot.

She claims that after sighting Komolafe, she hurried to her husband’s room where she found him lying in a pool of blood and screaming that Komolafe had killed him.

The perpetrator refuted the accusation, saying that the deceased’s wife had been forced to name him and that a group of cultists who had been accused of setting fires were complicit in the conspiracy.

Komolafe claimed that he and his wife were in their house when they heard the gunshot.

Justice Yemi Fasanmi drew attention to inconsistencies in the defendant’s testimony and disregarded his assertion of a conspiracy as only speculations.

Justice Fasanmi came to the conclusion that Komolafe was seen escaping from where the incident happened and that he was responsible for the deceased’s murder after he had shot him at a close distance.

The judge, thus decided that the convict be hung on the neck till death for the first count and that he serves a seven-year sentence in prison for the second count charge against him.

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