Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Federal High Court, Igbosere, on Thursday sentenced Okwumo Nwabuzor, 37 and his nephew, Olisaeloka Ezike, 27, to death by hanging for the killing of a postgraduate student, Cynthia Osokogu, in 2012.
Ms. Osokogu was lured to Lagos by Nwabuzor whom she met on Facebook. He had promised to help her buy goods at cheaper rates in Lagos.
According to the judge who was angry with the accused for not showing remorse for their action, she noted that the convicts deserved the death sentence.
“Justice is not only for the victim but for the society at large,” she said.
“The law says anyone found guilty of committing murder shall be sentenced to death. This court is not in a position to change the provision of the law.” She added
She also found them guilty on three other counts and sentenced them each to 14 years in jail for conspiracy to commit murder, three years for conspiracy to commit felony by stealing and three years for stealing a Blackberry phone. That is a total of 20 years imprisonment each.
Ms. Osokogu was drugged and murdered in Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town, by the duo.
Mr. Nwabufor’s claim that the late Ms. Osokogu was his fiancée and was going to introduce him to her father was also dismissed by the judge. It was discovered that he actually knew nothing about the lady, not her birthday, the name of her mother or even her hometown.
While delivering the ruling, Justice Akinlade noted that after analyzing the testimonies and evidences before the court, the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Nwabufor and Ezike murdered Ms. Osokogu.
“The evidence of the prosecution remained uncontroverted and relies mainly on the testimonies of witnesses and evidence,” she said.
When the lady arrive Lagos from Nasarawa, she was lodged into the hotel where she was drugged, chained and gagged her with sellotape.
According to the testimony of the pathologist who conducted an autopsy on the dead body of Ms. Osokogu, the court ruled that she died of asphyxiation.
The convicts pleaded not guilty and attempted to withdraw the confessional statement they had made, claiming that they were made under duress.
The judge however noted that the video footage of their confessional statements provided by the police proved otherwise.
“The court was satisfied that the confessional statements were not given under duress and admitted them in evidence. A confession is sufficient to gain conviction,” she said.
“The confessional statement of the accused is consistent with the state of the body and consistent to the medical evidence. I shall act on it accordingly,” she added.