An Ikeja High Court on Wednesday convicted two pipeline vandals, Clement Ododomu and Tiwei Monday, charged with killing seven officers of the Department of State Security (DSS).
The killings occurred on Sept. 14, 2015 at Ishawo Creek, Ikorodu, Lagos State.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi found Ododomu and Monday guilty but deferred their sentencing until Nov. 14 following plea for mercy by their counsel.
Oshodi found Ododomu guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, murders and possession of firearms.
He found Monday guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.
According to him, the claim of defence that the defendants were in Lagos for funeral of their grandmother was a ruse.
Oshodi held that defence failed to provide essential witnesses to corroborate the claim.
He, however, held that prosecution was not able to prove that the second defendant (Monday) was guilty of murder.
Oshodi said that evidence before the court showed that it was one Agbala and the first defendant (Ododomu) who killed the operatives.
He held that prosecution was able to prove that the two defendants participated in the ambush of the operatives.
He said: “Upon proper evaluation of evidence before the court, the convicts are hereby discharged and acquitted on counts of two, three, four, six and eight because the prosecution was unable to prove the allegations against them.
“However, the prosecution was able to prove that the first defendant, Ododomu, is guilty of counts one, five, seven, nine and 10 which border on conspiracy to commit murder, murders, possession of firearms and felony.
“The second defendant, Monday, is also found guilty of count one and 10 which border on conspiracy to commit murder and felony.”
Defence counsel, Mr Olusegun Akande, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.
Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Babajide Martins, however, urged the court to convict them as prescribed by the section under which they were charged.
Lagos State Government had submitted that DSS received a distress call from an editor of Sun newspaper (name withheld) on Sept. 14, 2015 about kidnap of his wife at their residence.
It said that the state command of DSS consequently dispatched a nine-man team to carry out surveillance to ascertain the location of the kidnappers who were negotiating for a ransom.
Prosecution added that it was reported that in the evening of that day, one of the DSS team members, Mr Martins Ajayi, sent a distress text message to the command headquarters to the effect that the team had been ambushed by vandals and their weapons seized.
According to prosecution, the convicts committed the offences on Sept. 14, 2015, in Ishawo Creek, Ikorodu, Lagos.
The convicts were arraigned on a 10-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit murder, murder and illegal possession of firearms, contrary to Section 223 and 298 (3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. (NAN)