Hotel Worker To Die By Hanging For Killing His Employers

A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has sentenced a 30-year-old hotel worker, Jeffrey Ehizojie, to death by hanging for killing his employer, Olusola Olusoga, and the hotel manager, Tunji Omikunle.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala, who delivered the judgment, held that the prosecution has proved beyond a reasonable doubt, the two-count charge bordering on murder.

Justice Ogala found Ehizojie guilty of beating and strangling the Managing Director of Etsahol Hotel and Suites located at Ojodu-Berger, Lagos.

The judge said the crux of the case of the prosecution was premised upon the confessional statement of the convict as well as circumstantial evidence.

According to the judge, the court had carefully considered the retracted defence statement, which showed where Ehizojie stated that one of the hotel staff, Henry, had informed him that he observed that the owner of the hotel kept much money at home.

The judge said that the defendant, in his confessional statement, said that Olusoga treated her workers badly so they planned to tie her and collect her money.

“Confessional statement is the best evidence to ground conviction and as held in several cases, it can be relied upon solely where voluntary.

“It is curious that the defendant who was privy to the state of affairs in the hotel told the court that he was shocked when the police informed him of the death of his boss and the manager when he was arrested at Port Harcourt.

“There is no doubt that the defendant was present at the premises of the scene of a crime as confirmed by him in his evidence in chief and exhibits before the court,”

The judge said that the court had carefully considered the evidence of the convict, particularly his account of how he left the hotel premises on Jan. 25, 2019, and his incredible story as to why he did not return to the hotel after the incident nor report at the police station.

She held that the convict had no clear explanation why fled to Port Harcourt the next day until his arrest.

According to her, the circumstantial evidence against the convict was unequivocal, positive, and irresistibly pointed to his guilt.

She said that the court believes that the convict indeed wrote the confessional statement (exhibit PW2a-c) and his feeble attempt to retract same was to exonerate himself from the commission of the deadly act.

“After careful consideration of the facts in this case, I hereby find the defendant guilty of the two-count charge against him.

“The sentencing of the court upon you Jeffrey Ehizogie is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead,”

The state counsel called 4 witnesses through whom several documents were tendered while the convict testified as the sole witness.

The offence violated Section 223 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The convict, who hails from Edo state, pleaded not guilty to the counts’ information proffered against him when he was arraigned on December 7, 2020.

Ehizojie’s trial began on February 25, 2021, as the prosecution called four witnesses, including David Nkwor, a computer engineer who worked at Etsahol Hotel in 2010.

Nkwor testified to the court that it was the police who woke him up to the news of the crime at the hotel and after informing him of the situation, got him to pen a statement at SCID, Panti.

Nkwor also testified to identifying some hotel co-workers to the police at Panti, from a video pulled from the hotel’s Close Circuit Television (CCTV) camera.

Nkwor told the court that he was able to identify his then co-workers; Jeffery (Ehizojie), Henry, White, and a fourth other person in the video, beating the (hotel) manager, killing him, and leaving him inside a toilet in the hotel.

A second prosecution witness, Asp. Chris Akpanomo told the court that while he served at SCID, Panti, in January 2019, he received a case file transferred from Ojodu Berger Police Station.

The file contained exhibits like a knife, chisel, and a carved wooden gun among others, as well as photographs of the deceased.

Akpanomo told the court that he saw through the CCTV video how the defendant, and others still at large, entered Olusoga’s room with a key they obtained from the hotel manager they murdered and strangled her to death.

Akpanomo further told the court that the police were able to apprehend Ehizojie through information provided by his elder brother, Daniel, who stood as a guarantor when the defendant was employed.

The third witness, Asp. Malik Aliyu, who served at Ojodu police station in January 2019, told the court that the murder case was reported to the police by a (now deceased) vigilante man, Friday Ojiemhonhin.

The prosecution’s fourth witness, Harrison Bruce; a Bolt driver who was formerly a bouncer at the hotel, testified to the court that he identified Jeffery, Light, David, and a fourth person who he did not know from the hotel’s CCTV video.

Bruce told the court that the late vigilante related to him how he (Ojiemhonhin) stopped Ehizojie on his way out of the hotel with some luggage on the night of the crime and asked him to go call his manager.

However, according to Bruce, the defendant tricked the vigilante into thinking he (Ehizojie) was simply helping to bring out a hotel guest’s belongings.

The defense opened its case on November 7, 2022, and called the defendant as its sole witness.

Ehizojie told the court that he worked as a barman before being promoted to supervisor at the hotel.

The defendant told the court that before he was employed at the hotel, he met some of the staff who complained that the “managing director did not want to pay them a two-month salary.”

Ehizojie testified that when he spoke with Olusoga, the hotel director, of the complaints, she asked him to tell them not to worry as she would pay them, and that “they could not do anything to her.”

The defendant told the court that he refrained from showing up at the hotel on the day the murders became public after he got a call from a co-worker; Blessing, warning him not to come into work as police officers were arresting other staff members.

According to the defendant, his co-worker did not reveal the reason for the police arrests at the hotel on the morning after the murders became public.

Ehizojie told the court he heard of the murders and took off to Port Harcourt after he called a police officer, who is also a customer at the (hotel) club, to check on the hotel’s manager, Omikunle, from whom he had earlier sought permission to travel.

Defence counsel argued that his client was accused of strangling the hotel manager to death, which is contradicted by the testimony of the prosecution’s fourth witness, Bruce, who told the court that Omikunle’s throat was slit.

According to the Defence counsel, Bruce’s testimony also contradicted the testimonies of the other three prosecution witnesses.

The defence counsel told the court that the prosecution’s case was riddled with inconsistencies and that it “hinged its case on mere suspicion, as the evidence they heavily claimed to rely upon, which is the CCTV, was never tendered in evidence before this court.”

The prosecution responded to the defence’s argument, stating that “the evidence about the CCTV camera was not controverter at any point.”


Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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