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I’m a child of God, I don’t tell lies, says Rivers State serial killer after guilty plea

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Rivers State alleged serial killer, Gracious David-West, on Tuesday described himself as a child of God who does not tell lies.

WuzupNigeria reports that David-West is standing before Justice Adolphus Enebeli of the Rivers State High Court for allegedly murdering 10 ladies.

The case was adjourned on Monday over a lack of legal counsel to represent the suspect. However, at the resumed hearing on Tuesday Gracious David-West pleaded guilty to only nine murders. He vehemently denied killing one of his victims, saying he is “a child of God” and would not lie.

He told the court,

“I never had thoughts of killing the tenth person.

“I don’t lie. I’m a child of God, I only tied her on the chair in the hotel room and walked away.”

The tenth victim the suspect denied killing was simply identified as Etim.

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David-West, who was arrested on September 19, said he gave the bound Etim a stern warning to desist from prostitution, and thereafter walked out of the hotel room.

He was arraigned on a 10-count of murder and attempted murder an offence punishable by death.

The court adopted accelerated hearing on the matter to ensure that judgement was pronounced as quickly as possible, especially as the accused person pleaded guilty.

Speaking to newsmen shortly after the sitting, police prosecuting counsel, Gladys Imegwu, said the state Ministry of Justice was directed to take over the prosecution.

Principal State Counsel from the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP), state Ministry of Justice, Chidi Ekeh, said the move to take over the prosecution was to ensure that justice prevailed.

“We considered this case a very sensitive one that the state should not ignore, considering the fact that all the nine victims that were killed apart from the fact that they are in Rivers State, they also humans and the state has a responsibility to protect the citizens wherever they come from, so today the state is taking over the matter to assure the people that the state is protecting them.

“We will prosecute this matter to its logical conclusion and ensure that justice prevails at the end of the day.”

Counsel for the defendant, Vincent Chukwu told newsmen that his client pleading guilty before the court was not enough to convict him of the crime without due trial.

“The offence in question is a capital offence, whether my client did it or not, the presumption is that the prosecution must still prove their case beyond reasonable doubt, so it is not for the defendant to just say I am guilty and liable and it ends there.

“Because the punishment is death, so the burden is now on the prosecution to go ahead to prove their case and we are waiting for them. My client has a very plausible defence which we shall open up at the appropriate time, we have had fruitful deliberations with him yesterday and we hope for the best in the matter”.

Justice Enebeli ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter till November 18, 21, 27, 29 and 4 December 2019 for hearing.

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Crime

Man bags 12 months jail term for housebreaking, stealing

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An Ile-Ife Magistrates’ Court in Osun, on Tuesday, sentenced one Seun Ogunmodede, 37, to 12 months imprisonment for housebreaking and theft of an international passport.

Magistrate A. A. Ayeni sentenced Ogunmodede after he had pleaded guilty to the charges of housebreaking and theft.
Ayeni sentenced the convict without an option of fine.

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Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Insp. Sunday Osanyintuyi had told the court that Ogunmodede committed the offenses on July 5, at about 2:13 pm. at House 72, Eleran Arojo layout, Ile-Ife.

Osanyintuyi said that the convict and others now at large, conspired with intent to commit felony to wit: breaking and stealing.

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He added that the convict broke into the house of one Akinpelu Oluwaseun and stole his international passport, one DVD player, and a traveling bag, all valued at N28,000.

He said the offenses contravened Sections 383, 390(9), 411, 412 and 516 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun, 2002

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Crime

FG frees 3,789 prison inmates to curb COVID-19 spread

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The Federal Government has facilitated the release of 3,789 inmates in prisons nationwide as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus since the discovery of COVID-19 in the country.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malamimade this public on Tuesday while speaking at an event meant to highlight the achievements of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Service Reform and Decongestion (formerly, Presidential Committee on Prisons Reform and Decongestion).

He. said: ”As part of measures to decongest the custodial centres nationwide in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the dangers posed to the centres, my office, the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with Presidential Committee on Correctional Service and Decongestion, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy and State Executives and other relevant stakeholders were galvanised to develop measures to overcome the challenges.

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”The initiatives adopted have so far led to the release of about 3,789 inmates, while simultaneously reducing the instances of unnecessary test and we intend to sustain this momentum.”

Malami noted that the Presidential Committee has since its establishment in October 2017 aided the release of a total of 7,713 from 39 prisons in 18 states that it has visited and appraised.

The AGF said the Presidentail Committee, headed by the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Ishaq Bello has also identified many challenges in the nation’s correctional centres and is working ways to address them.

He noted that the inadequacy of the nation’s correctional facilities now compels them to currently operate at over 150% of their capacity.

He said part of measures to address the inadequacy in the correctional centres was the ongoing construction of 3000-capacity maximum security custodial centres in Karshi, Abuja and Janguza in Kano State.

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The AGF said, ”undoubtedly, the COVID19 pandemic has posed its own peculiar challenges in the light of the worrisome and dilapidated state of our correctional centres nationwide.”

He said his office will work with the Ministry of Interior and other relevant agencies “to urgently decongest the correctional centres of awaiting trial inmates.

“Also, to be revisited is the issue of condemned convicts on death row for over 10 years with a view of getting relevant authorities to commute the sentence to life imprisonment

“This is based on the provisions of Section 12 (2) (c) of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019. A review of cases of inmates awaiting trial for upwards of five (5) years will also be considered.

“We are very mindful of the increasing number of sexual assault and kidnapping; and with respect to the public interest, those who are charged or convicted for such offences will not be considered for release during the proposed exercise.”

Justice Bello said his committee, during its visits to correctional centres, found that a number of facilities were in dire need of urgent rehabilitation and made recommendations as a matter of urgency to the relevant authorities for the renovation/construction of these facilities.

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He said his committee, after a review of cases of inmates eligible for prerogative of mercy and condemned convicts on death row for over 10 years, wrote to several State Governments to act on some special cases identified and to exercise their powers of clemency in deserving cases or commute to life sentence those condemned to death.

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Crime

Pastor arrested for allegedly raping daughter in Ogun

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A 44-year-old pastor at Ogo Oluwa Parish of the Christ Apostolic Church in Owode-Egbado, Ogun, has been arrested by the police for raping his own biological daughter.

The  Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abeokuta.

According to Oyeyemi, the pastor was arrested following a complaint by his daughter at the Owode-Egbado Divisional Headquarters that her father had been molesting her.

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The statement said the suspect had been forcefully having carnal knowledge of the victim since 2015 when she was 19 years old and shortly after the demise of her mother.

The daughter, according to the statement, further reported that she had been impregnated three times by her father.

According to her, the father took her to a nurse where the pregnancies were aborted.

The statement said the suspect had procured family planning services for the victim so as to prevent further pregnancies.

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“Having realized that her father was all out to ruin her life, she ran away from the house and reported to an NGO.

“The NGO, Advocacy For Children And Vulnerable Persons Network, took it upon itself to assist her in reporting the incident at the Owode-Egbado police station.

“Upon the report, the DPO Owode-Egbado division, SP Olabisi Elebute, led her detectives to the pastor’s house where he was arrested.

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“On interrogation, the suspect made a confessional statement that all that his daughter said is nothing but the whole truth,” the statement said in part.

It added that the Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, had ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to the Anti-human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit for further investigation and prosecution.

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