.Court

By Onozure Dania, Lagos

A Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) has discharged and acquitted a housewife, Mary Alilu, who was accused of murdering her husband, Kingsley Perewe, by cutting his neck and head.

Justice Modupe Nicol-Clay freed the housewife who had to spend over four years in detention of the one-count charge of murder in suit number LD/5944C/17.

The Lagos State Government arraigned Alilu for the alleged offence on November 12, 2018.

The prosecutors Adeshola Adekunle-Bello and Titi Olanrewaju-Daud, during arraignment, said that the defendant was believed to have killed Perewe “by cutting him on his neck and head with a knife” on or about January 27, 2017, at about 11:40 pm at 111, Abukuru Street, Ajegunle, Lagos.

According to the prosecution, the alleged offence is punishable by Section 223 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

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Alilu pleaded not guilty and the trial commenced.

The prosecution called three witnesses including the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) before closing its case. It urged the court to convict and sentence Alilu accordingly.

Alilu opened her defence by giving evidence and also called two other witnesses.

The defendant’s counsel O. J. Akinwale raised two issues for determination being whether the prosecution proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and whether exhibits tendered by the prosecution was admissible or ought to be expunged.

He prayed the court to discharge and acquit the defendant.

The judge resolved the issues in Akinwale’s favour.

In setting Alilu free, Justice Nicol-Clay agreed with both parties that the fact that the defendant died was not in contention.

However, she noted among others that the evidence of the prosecution witness (PW) 1 &2 was contradictory, thus, “fatal to the case of the prosecution,” as stated in the 2017 case of Hassan vs State.

The judge also stated that the prosecution failed to link the alleged murder weapon to the defendant or the deceased.

Justice Nicol-Clay held that although PW 3 (IPO) claimed that the defendant killed the deceased with a knife, the purported knife was not sent for forensic examination.

“He (PW3) could not tell whether the blood was that of the deceased,” the judge said, adding that there was no nexus between the knife and the defendant.

PW1&2 had testified that Alilu killed her husband, but dismissing their evidence, the court observed that the duo, not being medical practitioners, cannot prove the cause of death.

Justice Nicol-Clay held: “There is no direct evidence (linking the defendant to the alleged crime), the evidence of the prosecution witnesses are not cogent and compelling enough; there is so much doubt in this case.”

As for the wounds on the deceased’s neck and head, she said: “There is no evidence that no other sharp object could have caused the injury on the deceased.

“The defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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