By Onozure Dania – Lagos
A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, has sentenced a 47-year-old commercial driver Akeem Raimi, popularly known as an old soldier, to death by hanging, for killing a carpenter over refusal to refund N3000.
Justice Modupe Nicole-clay handed down the verdict, after finding him guilty of the offence of murder.
The convict was arraigned on a one-count charge of murder preferred against him by Lagos State government.
During the arraignment of the convict, sometime in 2016, the Lagos State prosecutor, Mr Yusuf Sule, had told the court that Raimi committed the offence on June 10, 2011, at about 1: 30pm.
Sule said that the convict murdered one Segun Williams, by stabbing him with a broken bottle, on his neck, which led to his death.
According to the prosecutor, the offence committed is punishable under Section 319 (1) of the criminal law of Lagos sate 2003.
However, the convict pleaded not guilty to the charge against him, but his plea was not taken as he was remanded in prison custody, pending the hearing and determination of the case.
At the commencement of trial, the prosecution called two witnesses who all testified that it was the deceased that first used weapons on the convict before the convict retaliated.
Particularly the deceased’s lover, Rosemary Osiske, testified before the court, that the deceased, Segun Williams was her fiancé and that she knows the defendant, Akeem Raimi, who is also known as an old soldier.
She stated that before the incident occurred the defendant had come to meet the deceased, to ask him to construct a kiosk for him and then gave him, N3,000, remaining the balance of N1,000 and that the deceased had commenced the construction of the kiosk,
before she went to fix her hair.
Osiske said that when she got back home from where she went to fix her hair, she saw people gathered in the compound and saw the deceased lying on the floor in the pool of his blood.
She stated that people informed her that old soldier stabbed the deceased with a broken bottle on the neck.
The witness further told the court that she was not there when the defendant stabbed the deceased with a broken bottle.
Jamiu Alapo, the defence counsel to the convict, raised the issue of self-defence, that though it could be established that the deceased actually died and that it was the act of the defendant that caused the death, there was no intention.
But the court said that since the deceased actually begged the defendant when he used the cutlass on the second occasion, and when the defendant picked the broken bottle and wanted to stab the deceased and the deceased, begged him, the defendant ought to have come to his senses.
The court said that the sentence of self-defence is not available to him.