An FCT High Court, Maitama, yesterday discharged and acquitted a 26-year-old woman Sarah Ogah, charged with murdering her boyfriend, Friday Shehu. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the prosecutor had on April 12, 2013, arraigned Sarah, on one count of culpable homicide.
Delivering judgment, Justice Peter Affen, discharged Ogah for lack of diligent prosecution. Okeke held that the prosecutor failed to his prove case beyond reasonable doubts, saying that the two prosecution witnesses were not present at the scene of the alleged crime.
The judge said their evidence as to how the deceased met his death or what directly caused it was controvertible and not admissible under section 126 (a) of the Evidence Act, 2011 to prove the cause of the death of the deceased. He held that the only direct evidence as to what caused the death of the deceased was the evidence of defendant herself.
Okeke held that the defendant’s evidence was the only eyewitness account of what transpired between the two parties. He added that the prosecutor did not lead any evidence to successfully contradict this, saying that his attempt to do so, was resisted by the defendant who was resolute in her answers.
The defendant consistently held that her late boyfriend “was armed and wanted to harm her and she took off the kitchen knife to scare him away”.
The judge held that by the foregoing available evidence in respect of what caused the fight and how it took place,” it is evident that the refusal by a lady to marry a man or park one’s belongings should be a cause fight.
“The deceased holding a cutlass and screwdriver with a threat to kill her and approaching her in their room so armed. It is reasonable that the defendant had an apprehension of peril or danger to her life or great bodily harm. In the circumstance, given that the incidence occurred in their room with no one present, she cannot be said to have a reasonable mode of escape. By the reasons of the foregoing findings, the defendant had been able to make out a case for self-defense, with no evidence by the prosecutor to contradict this.’ ’
Okeke held that as a result, “the defendant cannot be found to be guilty of culpable homicide as charged. In the circumstance, the defendant is discharged and acquitted,” he held.
Meanwhile, a septuagenarian, Emmanuel Ajasa, was on Monday brought before an Ebute Meta Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for the murder of his nephew, whom he allegedly stabbed to death.
Ajasa, 73, is to remain behind bars, pending receipt of legal advice from the office of the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, the Magistrate, Mrs. O.O.A. Fowowe-Erusiafe, ruled. The plea of the accused was not taken.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Sergeant Courage Ekhueorohan, said the accused had committed the offence on February 11 at 10:40p.m. at No. 9, Kalejaiye St., Lowa in Ikorodu, near Lagos. He said the septuagenarian, out of annoyance, had used a knife to stab the deceased, Adeniyi Oyebajo, 50, who was trying to settle a dispute between his mother and the accused.The offence violates Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. The case has been adjourned to March 19.