By Onozure Dania
Justice Modupe Nicol-Clay of a Lagos High court, sitting at Tafa Balewa Square (TBS), annex of Igbosere, yesterday sentenced a 32 year old labourer Philip Ikechi, who murdered his friend to life imprisonment.
The judge held that the prosecution, after calling witnesses to testify in the case, the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant murdered the deceased.
“It is trite that when an accused person is fixed at the scene of a commission of the crime, the plea of alibi fails. In the instant case, the defendant was duly
Justice Nicol-Clay after convicting Ikechi for the offence of murder, she accordingly sentenced him to life imprisonment.
The convict alongside his gang had murdered one Puadbei Yaige, by stabbing him with a knife and also assaulted one Taofeek Aremu, by striking him with a machete.
Ikechi, committed the offence on April 14, 2014, at about 8:30am, at Plank Bridge, in Kemberi Town, Okokomaiko, area of Lagos state.
The convict was arraigned on a two count charge bordering on murder and occasioning harm, preferred against him by Lagos state government, but he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In the judgment, Justice Nicol-Clay said “In proving the guilty of the defendant in the instant case, the prosecution called five witnesses who gave account of facts and synopsis of event that led to the death of the deceased Puadebi Yaige”.
The judge said to establish the guilt of a defendant, the prosecution may rely on any of the following ways, confessional statement of the defendant, direct eye witness account of a witness or witnesses and circumstantial evidence.
“ The first prosecution witness (PW1), stated that he was the one that carried the corpse of the deceased to his father’s how, PW2, testified that on April 13, 2014, the defendant visited his friend Abu and while the defendant was there, he fought with his brother and after the fight, the defendant kept shouting that he will kill everybody and he went and invited his gang to the house to fight. Thereafter, the defendant left and he informed them that he will retaliate.
“PW3, also stated that on April 14, 2021, he was at Pako Bridge with the deceased and they saw the defendant and his gang, armed with knives, cutlasses and woods, they started attacking people and everyone started running helter skelter.
“He stated that he and the deceased sighted the defendant leading the gang towards them at the bridge at Pako, as a result, they decided to wait since the defendant was their friend. However the defendant ordered the gang to stab and kill anybody and in the process, PW3 Taofeek Aremu, was stabbed at the back thereafter, the deceased shouted the nickname of the defendant “Eba”, begging the defendant not to allow the gang to hurt him. But the defendant did not listen and in the process the deceased was injured and he died”, the judge held.