By Dayo Johnson
Akure—A High Court sitting in Akure, Ondo state has sentenced Chukwudi Onweniwe to death by hanging over the killing of his girlfriend, Nifemi Adeyeoye, an HND student of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo.
Chukwudi Onweniwe was dragged before the court on May 22, 2017 on a four-count charge of endangering life, kidnapping and abduction, rape and murder.
According to the prosecutor, Jumoke Ogunjebi, the accused person abducted the deceased and took her “to a farm near Alayere, Ogbese, raped her and then snuffed life out of her by choking and strangulating her to death.”
The police prosecutor, Inspector John Aderibigbe, said one of the motorcyclists, who testified in the case, reported the suspicious movement of the accused person and the deceased at the Police station.
Aderibigbe said that the case was later transferred to Special Anti Cultism Squad in Akure.
Testifying, the mother of the deceased, Mrs Adeyeoye, said her daughter had informed her she was going to visit her friend on the day she went missing.
Adeyeoye claimed she did not know the accused person though he was said to be her daughter’s boyfriend.
According to her “ l did not see my daughter again after she got missing until police men invited me to come to the mortuary to identify a corpse whether it was that of my daughter or not.
Also giving evidences the two motorcyclists, who saw the lovers together on the ill-fated day, told the court that they conveyed them to a spot in town.
Justice Bola said an autopsy was carried out by one Dr. Pelemo, a staff of Ondo state Specialist Hospital, Akure, who described the abnormal state of the deceased’s neck and fracture of her skull.
According to him “it suggested that the deceased had been attacked by with a blunt object, which led to her death.
The judge stated that the accused person had confessed to the officers of the squad according to the testimony of one Ayoola Famoriyo and had taken his team to the spot where he hid the corpse of the deceased.
“There, the accused person had pointed to the spot where he kept the corpse and it was taken to the mortuary while the stone found near her head with which he purportedly hit her skull was taken to the Police station as an exhibit.
“Famoriyo had further testified that a search of the accused person’s room had revealed the deceased’s belongings such as a school bag, wallet, some GNLD products, her phone and 22 passport photographs.
The father of the accused, Nwosu Onweniwe, while giving evidence in defence of his son told the court that the deceased was his son’s girlfriend who had been very helpful to him.
Meanwhile, after examining all facts of the case, Justice Bola while delivering judgment said that the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt in three out of the four count charges
The judge observed that the prosecution failed to prove the case of rape against the accused person.
He said: “Though there was no witness that the accused person was the one who actually committed the murder, circumstantial evidence points to the fact that he had indeed committed the crime.
“The circumstances were that he was last seen with the deceased according to the testimonies of the motorcyclists and the belongings of the deceased were found in his room.
He, therefore, found him guilty as charged on three counts and sentenced him as charged.
Justice Bola declared that “On the count of kidnapping, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, on strangulating and choking, he was sentenced to death by hanging and on murder, he was also sentenced to death by hanging.