Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of a Lagos Special offences court on Wednesday sentenced a 42-year-old man, Ifeanyi Nnamoko, to life imprisonment over the killing of his best friend, Ifeanyi Anyanwu.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo convicted Nnamoko on a one count charge of murder contrary to Section 319 (1), cap 17 Vol. 2 Laws of Lagos State, 2003.
Justice Taiwo in her judgment said, “The prosecution has proved the case of death of a human being beyond reasonable doubt. I hereby find the defendant guilty of the murder of Ifeanyi Anyanwu.
“However, I have carefully considered the allocutus of the defence counsel; bearing in mind the defendant’s age and also the plea to reduce the offence of the defendant to manslaughter.
“I hereby sentence the defendant to life imprisonment,” the judge ruled.
Earlier, the Prosecution led by Mrs. K. O. Sarumi, had informed the court that the convict committed the offence on March 4, 2011 at about 8.30 am at Oregun, Alausa, Ikeja.
She said that the convict murdered Anyanwu, the deceased, by cutting off his head with a cutlass.
The prosecutor said that both the convict and the deceased were scavengers working on the refuse dump site at Ojota.
“A case of murder involving one Ifeanyi Anyanwu was reported at Alausa Divisional Headquarters by one Agada Daniels, a LAWMA officer in charge of Oregun refuse dump site, Ojota.
“Agada said that he reported for work at the LAWMA office, and met people gathered at the dump site and when he inquired on what the matter was, he was told that one Nnamoko, who normally stays at the dump site, killed one Anyanwu during a fight.”
According to Agada, before he got to the scene, the accused had already been apprehended by fellow scavengers.
He added that he inspected the lifeless body of the deceased and immediately rushed to Alausa Police Station and alerted the police, where a patrol team accompanied him to arrest the suspect.
“I also accompanied the police and the elder brother of the deceased to Isolo General Hospital, where the corpse was deposited for preservation and autopsy.”
Also, a prosecution witness, a police officer attached with the commissioner of police, identified as Asp C. Gift, had earlier told the court that when the police got to the crime scene, they met the deceased lying on the ground with his head almost severed from his body.
The police officer said that while inspecting the deceased body, he discovered several matchet cuts on the back and head of the deceased.
The officer also told the court that further investigation revealed that the suspect had been threatening the life of the deceased.
However, as stated in the court record containing the statement of Nnamoko, the convict said that he had a misunderstanding with the deceased which led to a fight.
The convict said that a colleague of theirs bought him a bottle of wine and the deceased began to insult him. He asserted that during the fight, the deceased hit him with a bottle on his head and also stabbed him. He reacted by giving him a machete cut on his head and neck respectively.
He concluded that when the deceased died, he was arrested by boys who work at the dump site and handed over to the police at Alausa.
The defence counsel, Mary Diaezue, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy on the grounds that the accused person is a first time offender, a father of four kids and the bread winner of his family.