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Court Sentences Lagos Prince, Oyekan to death

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An Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court, has sentenced Prince Adewale Oyekan, and a domestic staff, Lateef Balogun, to death by hanging for the murder of Alhaja Sikirat Ekun, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Prince Adewale, is the son of Lagos Monarch, Adeyinka Oyekan, who passed away on March 1, 2003, and Oba Rilwan Akiolu takes over.

The convicts who have been in custody for seven-years, was said to have murdered the deceased by strangling her and throwing her corpse in a 1,000 feet well located in her home.

While convicting and sentencing the defendants, Justice Raliatu Adebiyi in a two-hour judgement said that the prosecution had proved the charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder beyond reasonable doubt.

She said that the circumstantial evidence was strong and cogent, the act of the defendants in killing the deceased was intentional and premeditated.

“The court finds that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the offence of conspiracy and murder and are accordingly found guilty of the two-count charge.

“Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 stipulates the punishment for the offence of murder as follows. Subject to the provisions of any other law, a person who commits the offence of murder shall be sentenced to death.

“Same is the punishment for conspiracy to commit murder as contained in Section 231 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

“The above cited provisions of the law does not give the court any discretion whatsoever in sentencing the defendants.

“For this reason the first and second defendants are hereby sentenced accordingly on each of count one and two to death by hanging. May God the giver of life have mercy on your soul.”

According to the state prosecution led by Mr Akin George, the convicts committed the offences at 1am on Oct. 17, 2012 at the home of the deceased located at No. 5, Babatunde Lalega St., Omole Phase One, Lagos.

The prosecution stated that the deceased was a restauranteur who knew Oyekan due to her friendship with his late mother. To render assistance to the prince, Ekun employed him as the manager of her restaurant.

“Balogun the second defendant, was a former domestic staff of Ekun who was employed by her to take care of her elderly father. His employment was however terminated following a dispute with Ekun.

“The convicts conspired, killed the deceased and threw her corpse in a well within the premises of her home and took over her businesses and properties including her bus which was sold for N170,000.

“When any enquiry was made by family and friends about her whereabouts, Oyekan informed them that she had traveled to Abuja for the Ileya (Id el Kabir) festival. He passed this information by sending a text message from Ekun’s mobile phone.

“Following panic and worry from members of Ekun’s family and after an extensive search, her corpse was found two months later in December 2012 by well diggers and fire fighters.

“The convicts had placed a generator, a gas cylinder and other household items on the corpse to conceal it in the 1,000 feet well,” he said.

The trial at the High Court began on April 14, 2015, five witnesses including police officers, Mr Iyiola Olaniyi, the nephew of the deceased and Mrs Folashade Amurun, the only child of the deceased testified on behalf of the prosecution.

Oyekan and Balogun, testified in their defence. While testifying, the convicts both denied knowing each other noting that they met for the first time at the police station. They also denied committing the offence.

Oyekan in his evidence said that he met Ekun who was a friend of his mother at a PDP rally in 2011 after he had returned from the United States of America after obtaining a degree in architecture.

He said he met the deceased thereafter at her home where she offered to assist him by employing him to manage her restaurant.

Earlier in the trial, before the sentence was passed, Mr O. C Onwumerie, the defence counsel did not make an allocutus (plea for mercy).

“I will be leaving sentencing to the hands of the court,” he said.

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Top Court News is a product of a dedicated Journalist, owner of I-Wahab Media The Publisher started his Journalism career with Murhi International TV, MiTV in 2003 before working with Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operation, as a Judicial Correspondent. He is presently the Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and he is the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, Radio Nigeria Chapel. topcourtnewsng.com is out to serve you with informative and educative News in the Judiciary sector. To put an end to the under reported activities of the sector among the three arms of government

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CRIME

Court Convicts Retiree Over Perversion of Justice

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Justice Mojisola Dada of a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has sentenced a retiree from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, Charles Aiyeyi, to one year imprisonment.

Charles Aiyeyi was convicted for charges bordering on conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and making false statement to a public officer with intent to pervert the course of justice.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned the convict alongside with Friday Itsede, on a two-count charge for their involvement in the stalling of the trial of Chief Executive Officer of Omo-Jay Nigeria Limited, Jerome Itepu.

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges and EFCC commenced trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution witness, Callistus Egwuonwu, testified that sometime in 2015, the EFCC received a petition against some persons which included Jerome Itepu.

Also Read: Court Convict Businessman, Gbadamosi Olarenwaju, Over Stealing

He told the court that in the course of investigation, Itepu was in 2018 invited for interrogation, which he honoured and he made statement, following which he was granted administrative bail.

In fulfilling the bail condition, the suspected fraudster provided the two defendants who stood as sureties for him. Aiyeyi had produced a letter of introduction from the Office of the Auditor General in which he was introduced as a staff of the Office. The second defendant told investigators that the suspect was a “blood relation” and that he could produce him anytime. They both signed a bond of N18 million each.

Thereafter, the suspect was released to the defendants, but he jumped bail, became incommunicado, while the defendants failed, despite promises and assurances, to produce him.

Subsequently, the EFCC arrested the defendants and charged them in court for perverting the course of justice. Though charges had been drawn against the suspected fraudster, he could not be arraigned in court as he remained in hiding and the defendants failed to produce him.

It was later discovered that at the time the first defendant introduced himself to the EFCC as a staff of the Office of the Auditor General, when he had in fact at the time retired from active service.

Click To Read: Lagos Chief Judge Backs EFCC on Fight Against Corruption

In the course of the trial, the defendants also filed a no-case submission which was dismissed by the Court.

Delivering judgement, Justice Dada discharged and acquitted the second defendant holding that as argued by the defence, Exhibit P3 which was the bail condition, required only one surety, a level 14 civil servant, which in the instance was Aiyeyi.

The Judge thereafter held that the prosecution successfully proved the charges against the first defendant and so sentenced him to one year in prison; following the allocutus, however, he was given an option of fine of one million naira, (N1m).

One of the counts reads: “Charles Aiyeyi, Friday Itsede and Jerome Itepu (at large) on or about 21st December, 2018 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to pervert the course of justice by giving Mr. Callistus Egwuonwu, a staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, employed in the public service with the intention of causing Jerome Itepu to be released on bail pursuant to which he absconded.”

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CRIME

Court Sentences Husband To Death By Hanging For Killing Pregnant Wife

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An Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting at the state capital, Uyo, has sentenced a 52-year-old man, Nkereuwem Emah, to death by hanging for killing his pregnant wife, whom he accused of infidelity.

Justice Bassey Nkanang in his judgement found Emah, the father of five from Mbiabam in Ibiono Ibom Local Government area of the state, guilty of murder.

The convict was said to have killed his wife on the 12th of February 2018, while she was sleeping in their residence.

During his arraignment on 6th December 2018, the convict pleaded not guilty to the one count of murder, contrary to Section 326(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Volume 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, 2000.

Click To Read: There Is Massive Cover-Up Over Death Of My Son – Oromoni Snr.

The judgment came after four years of litigation in which, the prosecution called three witnesses, including a 10-year-old son of the deceased, Christian Sylvanus Etim, who narrated how his father committed the act against his mother.

Mr Etim said “On 12/2/2018, my father, (the accused person) is a mechanic with the Water Board. On the said date, he used a matchet in the night. My mother was sleeping. He used it and cut my mother. My mother died. The incident took place in the house we all lived in. The village head called the Police in Itam. The Police came and invited me to accompany them to the station.”

The evidence of the son was corroborated by his father, who had earlier confessed to the Police when he was arrested after the incident.

In his extra-judicial statement before the court, the convict stated that “on 12/2/2018 at about 4:30 am, I call my wife to ask her about how she came about the pregnancy and who is responsible for it. She refused to answer me and I become annoyed.

Also Read: Child Theft: Court Sentence Culprit, Mary Effiong to 28yrs’ Imprisonment

I took the big matchet and cut her right hand. She moved to run away, I cut her neck again and she fall down. I was informed by people around our house that one Michael Udoh always sleep with her anytime I left the house for work,” Emah said.

Delivering judgement which lasted for almost one hour, the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang described the act as a “callous, inexplicable and inexcusable debasement of the marriage institution.”

The court held that the accused person, Nkereuwem Etim Emah, is hereby sentenced to death. In compliance with the Section 339(2) of the Criminal Procedure Law, Cap 39, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, the sentence of the Court upon you, Nkereuwem Etim Emah is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul”.

Earlier, the Convict had pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy and give him another chance to go home and take care of his five children.

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CRIME

N96bn Fraud: Rotimi Amechi Must Be Prosecuted – Supreme Court

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The coast is clear for the probe and prosecution of former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as Supreme Court directed relevant investigative agency to investigate his alleged financial misappropriation of ninety six billion naira (N96bn).

The Apex Court arrived at this decision after his application to stop the investigation was thrown out by the five man panel Justices of the highest court in the land.

In a unanimous judgement by the five-man panel of Justices, they submitted that there was no justification to stop the probe of the All Progressives Congress presidential aspirant.

The court also awarded a million naira (N1m) cost against the ex-governor.

Also Read: Court Strike Out Governor Forum Suit To Regulate LG Finance

Governor Nyemson Wike had set up a Commission of Inquiry, to probe some transactions estimated at about N96billion carried out by Rivers State Government under Amaechi.

The Commission of Inquiry, headed by Justice George Omekeji, was to look into how N96 billion was allegedly withdrawn from the treasury of the state government and how it was expended.

The Governor also said that the commission of inquiry was to look into the lawful or otherwise sales of valuable assets of the state.

The commission of inquiry at the conclusion of its finding reported that Amaechi’s administration fraudulently sold some assets belonging to the State.

The listed valuable assets are Omoku Gas Turbine, Afam Gas Turbine, Trans Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine, Olympia Hotel and the award of contract for the execution of Mono Rail Project.

Amaechi, however, challenged the credibility of the commission of inquiry at the High Court of Rivers State and lost.

The former Governor also lost at the Court of Appeal prompting him to approach the Supreme Court.

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