A murder suspect who was tried for allegedly killing his girlfriend is to die by hanging based on court's verdict.
Presiding judge of Port-Harcourt High Court, Honourable Justice S.E. Wike, handed down the judgement on Victor Okon from Akwa Ibom State for allegedly murdering his girlfriend with whom he lived in Ogbunabali, Port-Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The convict allegedly committed the offence in 2010 but trial began from 2015 through 2019.
He allegedly killed his girlfriend by hitting her neck with a rod and was said to have also smashed her head against a wall and allegedly dumped her body in a Boro Pit in Mile 4, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The convict who allegedly confessed to the crime took police to where he dumped the body.
It was said the victim, Ngozi Oseme, was from Delta State and until her death had worked for a woman at Fruit Garden Market, D/Line, Port-Harcourt in Port-Harcourt City Local Government Area.
The suspect was allegedly caught and handed over to the police as he tried to run away on being asked about the whereabouts of his girlfriend who did not show up at work for three days, according to her employer.
Honourable Justice Wike handed down the death sentence on the suspect on August 2, 2019 as she convicted him of the crime.
The accused had pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge of murder but as he was asked to say something after judgement was delivered, he appealed to the court to temper justice with mercy.
The suspect was first arraigned in a magistrate court by the Rivers State Police Command and Rivers State Government took over the case when presiding magistrate of the court referred the case to Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.
The state prosecuting counsel, Barrister Chidi Ekeh, said in an interview that the state Government was satisfied as justice was done in the case.
He said the state would fail in its duty if it allowed criminals to go “scot-free” without prosecution.
He however said the state government does not “take delight in the fact that somebody's life is about to go” as a result of the judgement.
However, defence counsel, Dr. Innocent Ekwu, said he would appeal against the judgement.
He said: “The honourable court in its judgement convicted the defendant of the offence charged, being the offence of murder. Accordingly, he was sentenced to death by hanging but we have looked at the judgement… We believe that the judgement will be overturned on appeal”.
He said he had four “grounds” on which to lodge the appeal.