Gracious David West: Delay Over Record Of Proceedings Stalls  Appeal – Barr. Chuku

The counsel who represented now convicted serial killer, Gracious David West, during trial at the High Court has said that delay in getting record of proceedings at the High Court has stalled his appeal against the judgement.

Speaking in an interview, Barrister Vincent Chuku said the delay in having the record of proceedings was stalling his appeal.

The legal practitioner said: “It is stalling it (appeal). They should give me what I’m entitled to so that I can do my matter. They should give me what I have applied for that is the right of my client so that I can do my appeal. Without the record of proceedings they cannot compile records and transmit (and) it is stalling the appeal”.

He also said: “The option or discretion to appeal does not lie with the court. It lies with the accused or appellant and they have no choice in that issue of whether to appeal or not to appeal. It is a constitutional right”.

Barrister Chuku said he does not understand why the court had not given him the record of proceedings for his appeal.

He said the record of proceedings was requested by the Appeal Office to facilitate his appeal saying that he had been told many times that the record of proceedings was not ready.

He said he could conclude they were not willing to give him the record of proceedings for his appeal saying that he had applied for the record of proceedings as requested by the appeal office.

He also said it was his right to get the record of proceedings saying “and I insist and demand that I should be given that record without any further delay”.

He said he would have entered his appeal if he had got  record of proceedings.

The legal practitioner said when the process was complete he would ask the appeal court to quash the conviction against his client and discharge and acquit him.

Barrister Chuku said: “We are saying that based on the grounds of law which we have canvassed in our notice of appeal we are saying that the trial court may have erred in law to have found our client guilty and convicted him. So it is for the appellate court to test our case again and see actually that the case was not proven beyond reasonable doubt as to lead to the conviction of our client”.

David West was accused of killing women in hotels in Port-Harcourt and other  cities in the country and was tried at High Court presided by Hon. Justice Adolphus Enebeli who had found him guilty and  sentenced him to die by hanging.

At the time the judge had said the alleged serial killer was not worthy to live and had relied principally on a CCTV video and sentenced him to death.

Meanwhile upon inquiry a court staff at Justice Enebeli’s Court said counsel to the convicted serial killer  applied for record of proceedings but could not confirm if it was ready and the Secretary who would have confirmed if it was ready was not in court at the time of the inquiry.

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