NLNG Corporate Caring banner First bank SME Connect Fidelity bank card banner Emerald Energy Institute Camano banner

22 years after, Supreme Court acquits Otokoto suspect

By Wandoo Sombo on 18/05/2018

Gmail icon

Views: 1,040

• Supreme Court of Nigeria
• Supreme Court of Nigeria

 

The Supreme Court on Friday discharged and acquitted, Alban Ajaegbu, one of the accused in the celebrated case of the ritual killing of an 11-year-old boy, Ikechukuwu Okoronkwo, in 1996 in Owerri, Imo.

The killing of the boy, a hawker, jolted Owerri, stoking riot and destructions by enraged residents that lasted for days in the city.

In her lead judgment, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, held that the circumstantial evidence relied on to convict and sentence the appellant by the lower courts was not sufficient.

“It must be restated here that the appellant was charged with murder and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond reasonable doubt that it was the act of the appellant that caused the death of the deceased.

“The appellant does not have the burden to prove his innocence. The lower court held that the defence of the appellant raised a lot of suspicions.

“The law has well settled that suspicion, no matter how grave, cannot take the place of proof.”

She said that the assumption of the lower courts that because the appellant worked in the hotel for 17 years, he should have known who owned the farm that Okoronkwo was buried in, was wrong.

“Suspicion cannot take the place of legal proof. That the appellant worked in the hotel for 17 years and didn’t know who owned the farm cannot make him guilty.

“The law is settled, that an accused person told lies does not make him guilty.”

The apex court held that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The court, therefore, set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Owerri of 2012, which upheld the death sentence of the trial court and acquitted and discharged Ajaegbo.

The judgment was read by Justice Ejembi Eko, and the other four justices on the panel agreed with the judgment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okoronkwo, a groundnut seller, was on Sept. 19, 1996, lured into a hotel, called Otokoko in Owerri and beheaded.

Okoronko was reportedly given a bottle of Coca-Cola that had been spiked with drug before he was killed.

The hotel was owned by one Vincent Duru, who became known as Chief Otokoto during the long trial, following his not guilty plea after his arrest and arraignment.

Besides beheading Okoronkwo, the suspects, who were seven in number reportedly, removed different organs from his body, including his genitals before burying the corpse in a shallow grave.

The crime was discovered when 32-year-old Innocent Ekeanyanwu, left the hotel to deliver the head in a polythene bag to a client.

An Okada rider, who gave Ekeanyanwu a ride discovered the fresh human head and alerted the police, leading to the arrest of Ekeanyanwu. (NAN)

 

 

Source News Express

Posted 18/05/2018 7:53:53 PM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Comedian jokes about heart attack then dies mid-show...

Igbos, most brilliant black Africa race —US report...

BREAKING! Xenophobia: South Africans attack Nigerians again

Osinbajo’s approval of N5.8bn NEMA funds illegal, PDP...

Sars workers set to strike over pay

Court remands businessman for allegedly defiling own daughter...

Army deploys Special Forces to Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa...

Anti-Buhari statement: My life is in danger —...

Achebe’s UNFINISHED PROJECT

Senatorial Re-Run Poll: Anambra PDP warns against intimidation...

Breaking News: Ruthless Biafra War General, Brig. Benjamin...

Ondo State confirms 24 cases of Lassa fever...

 

Latest News Gunmen kill three policemen in Kaduna Radio Bayelsa staff killed, journalists trapped in campaign venue as political thugs clash Heavy security at Edo APC secretariat, Assembly BREAKING: Super Eagles start 2021 AFCON qualifiers on winning note, beat Squirrels of Benin in Uyo Border closure: ECOWAS countries reject Nigerian goods We are ready to release Sowore but only to the right person — DSS Adamawa govt to pay civil servants N32,000 minimum wage from November Recent promotions in Air Force, Police grossly lopsided — Intersociety Bayelsa Guber: Group warns of danger signals, threats to peaceful poll, sues for restraint Oyo Gov appeal: 48 hours after, judges fail to make copy of judgment available to Makinde’s lawyers Police arraigns young Editor, campus journalist over report on Presidential Adviser’s factory Kwara holds open bid for construction of 26 urban roads

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (561,746 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (451,819 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (400,789 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (334,847 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (303,173 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (279,585 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (258,505 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (256,627 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (238,123 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (224,445 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (201,114 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (197,891 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (108) Business & Economy (4,564) Business Verdict (86) Columnists (1,142) Complaints & Requests (97) Enterprise & Opportunities (219) Entertainment (702) Features (844) Global Business Monitor (493) ICT Monitor (67) International (4,198) Interview (211) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (176) Maggie's Blog (481) News (53,909) Opinion (1,418) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,702) Religion (1,118) Sports (2,222) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera