The trial of convicted serial killer Gracious David West is set to resurface as counsel for the convicted killer, Barrister Vincent Chuku, has said that he will ask the Appeal Court to discharge and acquit his client.
Speaking with reporters on Monday at Rivers State Judiciary Complex, he said that his client had right to appeal against his conviction.
He said: “Appeal is that notwithstanding the conviction by the trial court he (Gracious David West) still has a constitutional right of appeal. Everyone has that right so it’s a clear right and he’s exercising it and we are thinking that appeal is like a rehearing of the case and to see where there are errors and miscarriage of justice and this is what we are doing and we are saying that the court should set aside the judgement of the trial court and to discharge and acquit the defendant.”
He said that he filed his notice of appeal and served on the state since December last year and had gone to Appeal Office for settlement of record.
He said at the meeting for the settlement of record they were asked to produce the certified copy of record of proceedings at the trial court which is part of the requirement for appeal saying they were waiting to get the certified copy of the record of proceedings.
He said that they were yet to get the certified copy of the record of proceedings because of administrative reason saying that they had applied and paid for the record of proceedings.
Barrister Chuku said what was holding the appeal from taking place was the record of proceedings which would be transmitted to Court of Appeal for trial to take place.
Asked about what he intends to achieve from the appeal the counsel said that his client had the right of appeal saying that there could be error or miscarriage of justice in judgement given by the lower court.
The pendulum of justice had swung against Gracious David West when the judgement of death by hanging was passed against him by a High Court judge.
Presiding judge at the time Justice Adolphus Enebeli sentenced him to die by hanging last year for allegedly murdering women in hotels in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State capital, and other cities across Nigeria.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges having faced nine counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
While he was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging the judge discharged and acquitted the second defendant, Nimi ThankGod, a woman who had faced one count of misconduct with corpse.
Before giving judgement last year the judge reviewed submissions by the prosecuting and defence counsel as well as evidence given by the witnesses.
He had delivered his judgement convicting the first defendant of murder saying that he was not worthy to live and had sentenced him to die by hanging.
He affirmed that the first defendant had strangled his victims saying that he had also confessed to killing other women in other states across the country.
Holding on to video evidence the judge said that the piece of evidence was incriminating as first defendant seen in a CCTV footage with a lady in a hotel had come out of the hotel without the lady who was later found dead.