According to the prosecution led by O.F Akeredolu of the Department of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, the defendant allegedly committed the crime on the 7th day of August, 2016 at Ile Oluji in Ondo state.
The first prosecution witness, one Funke Emmanuel told the court that a search was conducted after he went missing and the case had been reported at the police station, she saw the defendant with the motorcycle which the deceased used for commercial purpose and had confronted him to ask him about the whereabouts of the deceased.
She testified that when she was not satisfied with his explanation, she alerted the people nearby and got him arrested and taken to the Ile Oluji Divisional police station.
The police witness, Veronica Ekechuku had told the court that she was on duty when a case of murder and armed robbery was reported at the Ile Oluji Divisional Police station on the 8th of August.
She stated that upon investigation by her team, the defendant was arrested and that he eventually confessed to the crime.
In his confessional statement, she stated that the defendant confessed that his elder brother, Rasheed Sheriff, who is the owner of the motorcycle had given the motorcycle to him earlier on the condition that he should deliver N1000 daily which he did.
She explained that his brother had later taken the motorcycle away from him and had given it to the deceased for the same purpose.
According to Ekechukwu, the defendant stated that he and a friend, one Seun had conspired together and lured the deceased under the pretext of buying Indian hemp and smoking it at a secluded place.
The defendant claimed that it was when they were smoking the indian hemp that Seun brought out a cutlass and from the back hit him on the head with the cutlass which caused him to fall down as he bled profusely from the wound.
She said that he had also confessed that they were on the verge of living when he told his friend that when Thomas recovered, he could finger him for the crime which made him to go back and stabbed him in the tummy until he gave up the ghost.
She testified that he had told the police how he had been apprehended later with the motorcycle and how he had conspired with Seun as the latter had told him that he had stolen a ‘dummer machine’ before and was not arrested.
However, when the case was transferred to SCID in Akure, the defendant had made a volte face and told the police that his friend, Seun was not part of the conspiracy and crime and that he only tried to involve him by lying that they committed the crime together because they were very close friends.
The prosecution had then tendered the various statements of the defendant, the knife and the picture of the murdered victim etc. as evidences before the court while they were admitted as exhibits.
At the current sitting, the hearing hit a hitch as the defense counsel, Barr. Emeka Ugwu failed to appear in court.
The presiding Judge, Justice S.A Bola had adjourned the case till the 5th of June 2018 for further hearing while ordering that the defense counsel be present in court or be deemed as having withdrawn from the case.