Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court on Monday convicted and sentenced nine men to 22 years imprisonment over pipeline vandalism and the murder of nine policemen at Arepo area of Osun State on May 24, 2014.
However, the court discharged and acquitted 11 other accused persons of the offence on the grounds that the prosecution failed to link them with the crime.
Those who were sentenced are: Felix Yayu, 25, Yakubu Ebiwei, 45, Augustine Ebiwei, 28, Owei Atile, 37, Atinuke Odewale, 42, Ijoufaya Legbe, 42, Ahmed Bashorun, 42, Odewale Waheed, 43, and Tuesday Filatei, 36.
They were arraigned before the court by the police on a 14 count charge of pipeline vandalism, illegal transportation and sale of refined petroleum products.
In his judgment, Justice Okon Abang sentenced the accused to a term of 10 years imprisonment on count 1, and a term of 12 years imprisonment on count 2, 3 and 4 respectively, while he discharged them of counts five to 14.
The court held that the term of imprisonment shall run concurrently, beginning from Monday.
The judge stated, “The seed of wrong doing maybe sown in secret, but the harvest cannot be hidden. Today is the day of harvest for the convicts.
“While reviewing evidence in this matter, I came to a conclusion that the following convicts Felix Yayu, Ijoufaya Legbe, Yakubu Ebiwei, Tuesday Filatei, Owei Atile and Augustine Ebiwei, have no sympathy for the corporate existence of this country and her citizens.’’