Court Sentence A Man To Death For Robbery And Another Man To Life Imprisonment For Infecting His Wife Niece With HIV

A Lagos Special Offences Court in Ikeja has convicted and sentenced a man to death by hanging for the armed robbery of a victim’s Toyota Highlander, smartphone and money. Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe, on Wednesday, also sentenced the convict, Emmanuel Iwuno, to 21 years imprisonment after finding him guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery.

The judge held that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt the ingredients of the two-count charge of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery against the convict. The state had charged Iwuno with conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery contrary to sections 299 & 297(2) (a) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015.

The first prosecution witness and victim of the robbery, Obinna Mbah, had told the court that on March 8, 2020, he was approached by four men who robbed him of his car along Thomas Onyemachi Street, Afromedia junction in Okokomaiko. Mbah told the court that one of the men, covering his face with a mask, had forced him to lay down on the ground, threatened him with a gun and took his Infinix phone and money while the other robbers drove away in his car.

Mbah told the court that the other two robbers sped away in a motorcycle shortly after the first set drove his car. The witness said he entered a commercial motorcycle, and alongside other motorcycle riders, gave chase to the robbers. The judge held that Mbah appeared truthful and that both his oral evidence and the written statement he gave the police maintained the elements of his story. Abike-Fadipe held that Iwuno had also written a police statement where the convict said one of the robbers on the motorcycle fired the gun to disperse people.

According to the police statement, Iwuno said he was driving the stolen car and eventually crashed into a kiosk as he wanted to avoid killing a member of the public as he drove away from the scene of the armed robbery. The judge held that the police statement of the convict tendered by the prosecution was also confessional to the crime and matched the occurrence of the incident from the nominal complainant.

Although the convict denied writing the statement and thumbprinting on it, he had told the court that the police arrested him while he was at a Tea shop in the area of the robbery because he wore the same clothes as the suspect.

The judge questioned why the convict did not call either his wife or the tea vendor as witnesses in his defence. Abike-Fadipe held that while there is no obligation on the convict to bring evidence to prove himself not guilty of the crime, Iwuno had a strong case against him and needed to go out and make a case to defend himself.

The prosecution, led by Adebanke Ogunode, told the court that ammunition cartridges, including that of a locally made cut-to-size single-barrel pistol, were found in the car upon its crash. Abike-Fadipe said she found that the prosecution proved that the convict conspired to commit robbery.

She held that while the convict may not have pulled the gun on the witness himself, he is liable to the charge for being a participant. The judge said that the defence counsel, C. E. Anaelugwu, had earlier submitted that there was no eyewitness to the crime and the prosecution only relied on the witness of the complainant. The judge held that in criminal cases, the prosecution is meant to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and not beyond all shadow of doubt.

The judge sentenced the convict to 21 years imprisonment on the count of conspiracy to commit robbery and sentenced him to death by hanging on the count of armed robbery. The prosecution called three witnesses, including the complainant, while the defence counsel called only the defendant.

Meanwhile, court sentences a man to life imprisonment for infecting wife’s niece with HIV. Richard Saviour has been convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Lagos High Court in Ikeja. The convict was said to have sexually assaulted his 14-year-old wife’s niece, with whom he was infected with HIV On January 30th, 2024. Justice Oyindamola Ogala delivered a decision in the case, finding Mr Saviour guilty based on multiple testimonies from witnesses.

A High Court in Ikeja has handed down a life sentence to Richard Saviour for sexually assaulting his wife’s niece and transmitting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to her. The victim, who was 14 years old at the time of the incident, remains unnamed. The court convicted Mr Richard to life imprisonment after a series of trials in court.

On Tuesday, January 30, Justice Oyindamola Ogala rendered a verdict on the case, stating that the testimonies presented by the prosecution witnesses were consistent and truthful. Justice Ogala pointed out that the victim’s account was supported by both the Investigating Police Officer (PW1) and a Social Worker from the State Ministry of Youth and Social Welfare (PW3). The judgement she concluded that the witnesses successfully proved the convict’s guilt for the offence of defilement.

As quoted by Arise TV, the judge said: “The testimony before the court clearly depicts the ‘evil’ perpetrated on this young girl and how she was abused both mentally and physically by the defendant and his wife for years. “Revealing how she indeed ‘cried out’ for help and was betrayed by those who were supposed to help and support her.

“It is imperative to state at this juncture that the actions of the principal of PW2’s school and the social worker (PW3) are commendable as same eventually brought some succour and relief to PW2, who unfortunately has been permanently ‘scared’. “Having carefully considered the entirety of facts before the court, it finds that in this instance, the prosecution has satisfactorily proved the one count change the defendant is faced with.”

Ogala stated that the accused was eager to disassociate himself from the accusation by refuting the charges. She mentioned that PW2 clearly recounted the events between her and the defendant, which the defendant contradicted. Police relocate victim to orphanage The judge mentioned that after the victim was taken to the Mirabel Centre by the police, she underwent testing and was diagnosed with HIV.

Subsequently, she was relocated to Mary’s Home Orphanage and received care with the assistance of Positive Action for Treatment Access, a non-governmental Organisation.

The judge pointed out that the Mirabel Centre’s documentation of the victim’s genital examination indicated the absence of her hymen, accompanied by a slight whitish vaginal discharge.

The judge concluded that these findings align with repeated vaginal penetration, supporting the testimony provided by the victim (PW2). Based on these findings, the judge convicted the defendant of defilement through unlawful sexual assault and sentenced him to life imprisonment in the Correctional Centre.

Austine Ikeru
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