A High Court in Lagos on Wednesday sentenced a labourer, Chinedu Alli to life imprisonment for killing another construction worker during a fight at a construction site at Aja, Lagos.
Delivering judgment, Justice Modupe Nicol-Clay, held that the prosecution had proven its case with the elements of the offence of manslaughter and that strong circumstantial evidence was presented in court.
Finding him guilty of the one-count charge of manslaughter proffered against him, the judge noted that the defendant in his statement to the police had also admitted hitting the deceased on the head with a stick during a fight.
“I have listened to the allocutus of the learned counsel to the defendant, Mr. Bashua, it is trite that justice is not only just for the defendant but also for the deceased lying alone in his grave.
“Justice is a double-edged sword where a mandatory sentence is prescribed by the law and in this instant case; the court cannot impose a lesser sentence.
“I hereby sentence the defendant to life imprisonment as provided by Section 227 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State,” the judge said.
Earlier before the sentence was delivered, the defence counsel, Mr. I.O. Bashua in his allocutus (plea for mercy) had asked the court to temper justice with mercy.
“The defendant did not have the intention of killing the deceased, I pray the court will be magnanimous in sentencing the defendant,” he said.
According to the prosecution led by Ms. Adeshola Adekunle, the convict on Aug. 13, 2015, killed Monday Nwoye during a fight at Ikota Villa Estate, Ajah, Lagos when he hit the deceased on his head with a stick.
It was reported that during the trial, three witnesses – the brother of the deceased, Mr Moses Nwoye and two police officers testified for the prosecution while Alli testified solely in his defence.
The labourer in his testimony had told the court that the deceased had the habit of calling him a “bastard” and on the day of the incident, the deceased had called the defendant the slur and he had attacked the defendant.
He admitted to hitting the deceased on the head with a stick.
Nwoye sustained a head injury and due to the severity of the injury, he took the deceased to a pharmacy for treatment.
He claimed that he spent N3,400 to treat Nwoye and was informed by authorities that he died in the hospital on Aug. 19, 2015, from the injuries he sustained.
Credit: Tribune Online