The Lagos State High Court in the Ikeja neighborhood has found two pipeline vandals guilty of killing seven Department of State Security (DSS) agents in the Ishawo neighborhood of Ikorodu in 2015.
The first defendant, Clement Ododomu, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and failure to report a felony, according to Justice Hakeem Oshodi’s ruling.
The second defendant, Tiwei Monday, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and failure to report a felony.
The offenses are against Sections 223 and 298(3) of the Criminal Law, Cap. C. A Vol. 3. Lagos State laws, 2015.
The sentencing of the guilty parties was postponed by the court until November. 14th.
The prosecution had previously informed the judge that in Sept. In 2015, the DSS received a distress call regarding a possible kidnapping. In response, they sent a nine-man rescue crew.
During the course of the trial, Saheed Adetunji, an investigation officer with the DSS, testified in front of the court that seven out of the nine-man rescue team were ambushed by the vandals in the Ishawo area and taken captive.
The remaining two were able to get away.
“The first defendant said that they took the seven DSS personnel to their hideout, into the Ishawo Creeks, called Barracks,” Adetunji said.
The officer also identified the 2nd defendant, Monday, who confessed that he was a part of the group of vandals who used teargas and pepper spray on the DSS personnel.
“When they got to their Barracks, the first defendant said he personally shot two of the DSS personnel with a pump-action rifle, while one Agbala shot the remaining five with an AK-47.
“The dead bodies were buried in three separate graves. The first defendant said that the graves were dug by some Ijaw boys and three slim operatives were packed in one. And the bigger ones were put in twos into the other graves,” he stated.
And though the defendants pleaded guilty and denied committing the offence during their trial, Justice Oshodi in his judgment, held that the prosecution was able to prove part of the charge against the two convicts beyond all reasonable doubt.
The judge also rejected the alibi of the defendants, describing it as a ruse and an afterthought as there was no credible evidence to back up their claims of being at different places when the offence was committed.
He further held that their attempts to deny their confessional statement were not convincing and that evidence before the court confirmed that their statements were made voluntarily.
The Director of Public Prosecution, DPP has urged the court to impose the maximum sentence on the defendants to send a strong message that the state will not tolerate the killing of anyone particularly officers on lawful duty. He also used the opportunity to reiterate the call for the DSS to fish out one Agbala who was said to have shot five of their officers.