By Olajide Meseko
A Court of Appeal sitting in Ado Ekiti Judicial Division on Tuesday, 28th September, 2021 has discharged and acquitted a teenager who was sentenced to Death by a High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti for stealing phone.
Recall that the teenager, Adeolu Bamiteko with one Ayobami Ojo were arraigned in Charge No. HAD/15C/2014 before the High Court presided over by Justice J.O Adeyeye on a three Count Charge of Conspiracy, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearm. Consequently, on the 30th of June, 2017, Adeolu Bamiteko was sentenced to death by the trial court.
Dissatisfied with the judgment of the Court, Bamiteko Adeolu through his lawyer, a human right activist, Dr. Olukayode Ajulo filed a Notice of Appeal in Appeal No. CA/EK/41C/2020 at the Court of Appeal sitting in Ado Ekiti on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove its case against Adeolu beyond reasonable doubt.
While arguing the Appeal, Dr. Olukayode Ajulo contended among others that the prosecution failed to call the alleged victim as a witness in the case and the purported confessional statements of the accused persons which were admitted in evidence were recorded in Yoruba Language and translated into English Language, however, the Yoruba version of the statements were not tendered before the court.
He further argued that there was no admissible or reliable evidence as to where, when and how Exhibit C (the bag allegedly belonging the accused which contained locally made pistol, a knife four mobile phones, a wrist-watch, a necklace and fifty naira note) was allegedly recovered from the Accused.
In a unanimous judgment, the panel of Justices Coram Hon. Justice Ibrahim Ali Andenyangtso; Hon. Justice Bilikisu Bello Aliyu and led by Hon. Justice Theresa Ngolika Oriji Abadua agreed with the position of the Appellant’s Counsel and set aside the judgment of the trial court in its entirety and thereafter discharged and acquitted Adeolu of the offences for which he was charged.