A domestic staff, Joseph Ogbu, was sentenced to death by hanging, yesterday, for killing his employer, an 89-year-old grandmother, Ajoke, and her daughter, Oreoluwa, in their home in Lagos.
Delivering the judgement, Justice Modupe Nicole-Clay, sitting at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, found the defendant guilty of a three-count charge of armed robbery and murder. The charges were preferred against him by the Lagos State government.
The defendant committed the offence on June 19, 2019 by killing one Adejoke John, by strangulating her to death and stabbing Oreoluwa to death. He pleaded not guilty when arraigned on October 22, 2019, to a three-count charge of armed robbery and murder, contrary to Section 222 and 297 of Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
Ogbu, while armed with a knife, robbed Adejoke John of her Toyota Camry Saloon car, with Registration No. FST 104 CW, LG plasma TV, motorway handset, one Gionee handset, one Nokia phone, one i-Tel Phone and one power bank.
The prosecutor said the incident took place at 4, Ogunlana Drive, in the Surulere area of the state at 9:30pm. The Lagos State prosecuting counsel, stated that the defendant killed Oreoluwa John by stabbing her to death, while armed with a knife, robbed the deceased of her car, phones, and Plasma TV. The trial judge held that the defendant confessed to the crime.
She added: “He killed one Adejoke by strangling her, and one Oreoluwa by stabbing her to death. I have considered the evidence of the security guard, an Okada man, one Yahaya Ibrahim, the house help and a police Inspector.”
She said the convict admitted to living with them and he was the only witness of the incident. She stated that the defence did not raise objection to the admissibility of the confessional statement.
“There’s no doubt that the defendant confessed to the crimes.”
The judge said the defendant could not give an explanation of what he was doing with all the stolen items he was found with at about 2am on the date he was arrested. The evidence is shown to the satisfaction of this court and the court has established guilt against the defendant. “He is, hereby, found guilty as charged.”
After convicting him, the judge said to Joseph Ogbu: “I have to hear from you; you have been found guilty.” The convict replied in pidgin English, “The mama no die for my presence. I beg for mercy,” clasping his hand to his face.
In his allocutus, the defence counsel, Mr. Moses Enema, told the judge: “The defendant is a first time offender, a son to a young widow, largely dependent on this son. In the course of the trial, my lord, the defendant was very remorseful, it’s an indication that he is willing to take a new leave. We do pray for the court to temper justice with mercy.”
Sentencing him to death for all the three counts, Justice Nicole-Clay pronounced: “This court has found Joseph Ogbu guilty of these heinous crimes; you are, hereby, sentenced to death by hanging. May God have mercy on your soul.”