ormer factional Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Oyo State branch, Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi (aka Auxiliary), and four others have been sentenced to six years in prison.
Others jailed with him include Saheed Kareem, Taiwo Tijani, Abu Kareem and Kazeem Kayode.
The five of them had been facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, murder and attempted murder at the Oyo State High Court for the June 4, 2011 fracas at a motor park in Iwo Road, Ibadan, which claimed lives of some innocent persons including a final year Medical student, Adekunle Oladipupo.
In his judgement, Justice Eni Esan held that the prosecution witness, one Akeem Agbaje, told the court he was beside Adekunle Adedipupo on the said day, at about 9.45pm, when the accused persons with others at large invaded the motor park, shooting sporadically.
Agbaje was said to have explained that a bullet hit the deceased during the shootout and he died on the spot.
Justice Esan discharged the accused persons on the murder charge after disagreeing with the witness who said he identified the accused persons with the help of head lights of the cars that lit up the scene.
Justice Esan further held that the accused persons both in evidence in chief and statement to the police, agreed that Auxiliary is their leader adding that they had been meeting in his Diamond Hotel at Alakia
The court ruled that since the first accused person admitted that he owned guns and the accused were caught in a car with rounds of bullet, they were guilty of conspiracy and sentenced to six years imprisonment each.
But Auxiliary’s counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, said his clients would appeal the judgment. He argued that since the court has acquitted and discharged them of murder and attempted murder, the conspiracy for which they were convicted did not exist.
Auxiliary and the late Lateef Salako (aka Eleweomo) were factional leaders of the NURTW who battled erstwhile chairman, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola (aka Tokyo) for years over the union’s headship. The supremacy battle led to violent attacks at motor parks across Ibadan.
Eleweomo was however killed in 2010 during the build-up to the 2011 general elections