A Bayelsa State High Court (Yenagoa Division), has sentenced a 38-year-old vicious cult leader, Diepreye Sunday Olayo, to death by hanging.
Delivering his judgment on Thursday, Justice Emmanuel Ogola found him guilty for the murder of Being Ilebiri on September 6, 2011 along Ebis Mechanic road, Amarata, Yenagoa.
Olayo, a member of Greenlanders cult group, was said to have shot dead Ilebiri believed to be the hitman of Bobos cult in the state.
The prosecution counsel, Andrew Seweniowor Arthur, who tendered the confessional statement of the accused and 13 witnesses said its case has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that Olayo murdered Ilebiri on the fateful day.
Ogola before delivering his judgment advised the two parties to seek redress in a higher Court if they disagree with his ruling.
While going through the history of the case which, according to him, was inherited upon his transfer, he stated that he had to deliver judgment of trial within trial on whether to admit the two confessional statements by the accused.
He said he ruled to admit the two confessional statements as there was no sufficient proof to indicate that the statement was extracted under duress as claimed by the accused.
Ogola pointed out that the prosecution has proved its case as all evidences including confessional statements from the accused point to the fact that he committed murder.
“I therefore find the accused guilty of murder of the deceased and I convict him for murder. This is one of the difficult aspect but we are here to do a job. I hereby sentenced the accused to death”, he stated.
There was however a mild drama as relatives of Olayo burst into tears alleging that they were being oppressed because of their low estate in life.
They vowed to instruct his counsel to seek redress and appeal the judgment in the Appeal Court once they obtain a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the High Court’s judgment.