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Woman Bags 10 Years in Prison Over House Help Murder

Ruth Bamidele, Lagos

An Ikeja High Court on Monday sentenced Chiamaka Nnajiofor, a 27-year-old woman, to 10 years imprisonment for her culpability in the death of her domestic-help.

Court-IkejaChiamaka and her husband, Elochukwu,41, were charged to court by the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over the death of  Miss Oliver Arakwe.

The couple was accused of torturing the 14-year-old domestic- help, Oliver Arakwe, to death on August 17, 2010 at No. 81, Femi Tella St., Ago Palace, Okota, Lagos.

They were arraigned on a one-count charge of murder and had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Justice Lateefat Okunnu found Chiamaka guilty of the offence of manslaughter, instead of the charge of murder preferred against her.

Delivering her judgment, Okunnu discharged and acquitted Elochukwu (second defendant) of the murder charge.

She held that the prosecution, led by Mr Femi Adamson, had failed to connect him with the alleged crime in the various testimonies and exhibits before the court.

“The evidential burden against the second defendant is very weak. There is nothing to show that he was part of the flogging his wife instigated that day and available evidence indicated that he wasn’t in the apartment when it happened.”  The judge said

Justice Okunnu also held that the prosecution failed to prove the charge of murder against Chiamaka beyond reasonable doubts.

“Oliver was a severely malnourished looking 14-year-old boy and the pounding of a belt would have had a lesser effect on a normal 14-year-old

“It is on this basis that I find the first defendant not guilty of murder. I find instead that she is guilty of manslaughter

“The second defendant is discharged and acquitted.” the judge ruled.

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