A dismissed police officer, Tizhe Goji, has been sentenced to 10-year-imprisonment over his involvement in the death of one Abayomi Olaoye, at a hotel situated in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
As at the time of committing the crime, Goji was still in active service, but was later dismissed by the Police Service Commission.
The 38-year-old man was charged with murder on July 29,2021 then sentenced by an Ekiti High Court, Ado Ekiti Division.
According to the charge, the ex-policeman on November 21, 2021, at a hotel in Ado Ekiti “did murder one Abayomi Olaoye, contrary to Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Cap. 16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.”
Narrating her ordeal to the police, an eyewitness, Bukola Omorinkoba, said she, alongside other family members, including the deceased, lodged in the hotel for a wedding at Ise Ekiti.
She continued that Olaoye breath last at a tertiary health facility, where he and the other victim were rushed to.
She said, “At about 9pm, we were relaxing at the hotel’s reception when we saw the defendant, alongside other police officers, drive in a Toyota Hilux van. Immediately they opened the vehicle’s door, he opened fire on us. The bullet hit the deceased and Adebayo Ilori.”
The prosecutor, Abigail Aladejare, called four witnesses and tendered the defendant’s statements and a medical report as exhibits.
Goji, in his defence, said, “I used the rifle to abort a robbery operation the previous day but forgot to close the rifle’s chamber. I was at the hotel to celebrate my promotion with my colleagues. On opening the vehicle’s door, the rifle discharged accidentally; I didn’t do it intentionally.”
Delivering his judgment, Justice Adeniyi Familoni, upheld the prosecutor’s claim, stating that he proved the offence of manslaughter against the defendant.
He said, “The penalty for this infraction of the law is grave; it is life imprisonment. I will, however, be lenient by not imposing the maximum punishment.
“The defendant is hereby convicted of the offence of manslaughter, contrary to Section 317 of the Criminal Code, Law of Ekiti State, 2012. Consequently, the defendant is sentenced to 10-year-imprisonment without an option of fine. The sentence is to run from the date of his arrest and detention.”