Barristers & Solicitors
Siblings jailed for damaging widow’s shop over witchcraft allegation
Ekiti High Court

An Ekiti State Chief Magistrate Court, Ado Ekiti District, has sentenced two siblings, Sunday Arowosoki, 25, and Gbolaga Arowosoki, 23, to 30 months imprisonment (15 months each) for assault and malicious damage.

They were found guilty of mobilising some family members to attack their brother’s widow with dangerous weapons and vandalising her shop following their witchcraft allegation against the woman.

The charge stated that the defendants conspired at 10 a.m. on April 17, 2022 at Ayegunle Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State to “commit felony, assault and malicious damage, unlawfully on the widow of their late brother, Mrs. Rachael Arowosoki”.

The charge stated that the defendants “unlawfully damaged two shops, property of Mrs. Rachael Arowosoki.”

The offences, it stated, were “contrary to and punishable under sections 421, 185, and 354 (1)(8) of the Criminal Law of Ekiti State, 2021”.

The victim, in her statement to the police, said, “I am a trader, I got married to the late Jimoh Arowosoki over 45 years ago. We have six children. After the death of my husband, his siblings accused me of witchcraft and responsibility for his death. The case was reported to the monarch, who dismissed the allegation as frivolous and unsubstantiated.

“Thereafter, the siblings mobilised other members of the family, they were armed with cutlasses, sticks and other dangerous weapons with the intention of killing me, but I escaped and ran to the palace. When their mission could not be accomplished, they went to my shop erected in front of my house and destroyed it,” she stated.

The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Elijah Adejare, called three witnesses and tendered the victim’s statement, the defendants’ statement, hospital receipts and admission card, among others, as exhibits.

The defendants, who spoke in their own defence through their counsel, called three witnesses.

In his judgement, the Magistrate, Olatomiwa Daramola, found the defendants guilty and convicted them accordingly in counts 1 (assault) and 3 (unlawful damage) of the charge.

He said, “In count one, the defendants are sentenced to three months imprisonment each or fine of N10,000; in count two (malicious damage) the defendants are discharged and acquitted; and in count three, the defendants are sentenced to one year imprisonment each or fine of N10,000 in lieu of imprisonment.

“The terms are to run concurrently while the fine is consecutively”, Daramola pronounced.