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Ilorin court sentences three to jail for threatening to kill 91-year-old woman over a parcel of land

Three men – Alhaji Alabi, Saliman Iyanda and 60-year-old Suleiman Alao, who threatened to kill a 91-year-old woman, Mrs. Sadatu Bello, have been convicted.

Each of the men was sentenced by an Ilorin Magistrate’s Court, Kwara State, to two years’ imprisonment with an option of fine, for threatening to murder the nonagenarian over a parcel of land.

Saturday PUNCH learnt that the convicts had told the elderly woman in May 2016 that she would be killed if she tried to take possession of the land situated at Olorunda Village, along the Ilorin-Ogbomosho Road.

Bello, who was 89 years old at the time, had through the Saraa Chambers, petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Kwara State Command, who then detailed the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Ilorin, to conduct a discreet investigation.

The investigation later revealed that there was a conspiracy by Alabi, Iyanda, and Alao to dispossess the woman of her land.

The police noted that Bello bought the land, measuring 279 feet by 243 feet some years ago from her late father, Alhaji Bello Belukor.

The three culprits were later arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass and criminal intimidation, contrary to sections 97, 348 and 397 of Penal Code Law.

Delivering judgment on the matter during the week, Magistrate Kudirat Yahaya said the prosecutor, Mr. Matthew Ologbonsaye, had proved the case and that the court was satisfied that all the offences had been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

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She added that the defendants made wilful statements before the police, which were reliable evidence against them.

According to her, the defendants did not deny threatening to kill the woman.

She further said even though issues of ownership of land titles were not within the jurisdiction of the magistrate court, the court was competent to adjudicate on the criminal aspects of the matter.

“I find the accused guilty and accordingly convicted of the three charges,” the magistrate said.

The defence counsel, Mr. Mohammed Sulu-Gambari, did not indicate interest in appealing against the judgment. He rather commended the court for the “industry put in the case.”

He, however, pleaded with the court to be lenient in its sentencing of the three convicts because of their old ages and the fact that they had no criminal records.

The prosecutor, when asked by the magistrate, said he did not have any criminal records on the convicts.

On account of the appeal for leniency, the magistrate sentenced them to two years’ imprisonment with an option of N15,000 fine on each of the three charges, which would run concurrently.

“The total concurrent sentence is two years or total fine of N45,000,” Yahaya said.

PUNCH

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