Court Sentences Cynthia Osokogu’s Murderers To Death

Cynthia OsokoguThe Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos Island has convicted and sentenced two men to death by hanging for the murder of late Cynthia Osokogu.

Trial judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, held that the prosecution proved the case against them beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Akinlade sentenced Okwumo Nwabufo and Olisaeloka Ezike to death after finding them guilty of murdering Cynthia Osokogu by chaining her hands and legs, as well as choking and gagging her.

The act was said to have led to asphyxia, the absence of oxygen supply to the body of the victim which the court identified as the cause of her death.

The late Cynthia Osokogu, a postgraduate student of Nassarawa State University, was murdered on July 22, 2012 at a hotel in Festac Town by the men who lured her to Lagos after she met them through a social media platform.

Justice Akinlade had fixed March 23 to deliver judgment in the trial of four men charged with her murder, after counsel to the Lagos State Government and those who represented the defendants adopted their final written addresses.

In arriving at the judgment on Thursday, the judge held that the prosecution had successfully proven against the two defendants the offences of conspiracy to kill, murder, conspiracy to steal and stealing.

She found the convicts guilty on the strength of the circumstantial evidence and exhibits presented against them by the prosecution, and also based on their confessional statements made to the Police.

The court, however, discharged and acquitted the third and fourth defendants on the ground that the prosecution had not proved its case against them.

Mother And Child Killed In Festac Bank Robbery

FestacThere was pandemonium in Festac Town, Lagos on Tuesday when heavily armed suspected robbers attacked two new generation banks, carting away an unspecified amount of money.

According to the Police, two person; Jean Ebere Ndirika, female aged 39 and her 14-month-old daughter, Nmesoma Ndirika were killed by stray bullet from the robbers whilst in their home at House 8 Flat 13, 4th Avenue, Festac Town.

The house is located about 300 metres away from the crime scene.

Eyewitness report said the robbers came into Festac Town through the canal in a speed boat, shooting sporadically to scare away people in the vicinity before robbing the banks.

They said that the suspects wore military uniforms and they carried out the robbery taking their time in a very fearless manner and later escaped through the canal.

The Public Relations Officer Lagos Police Command, DSP Joseph Ofor, confirmed the robbery and said that the Police were trailing the robbers.

He told Channels Television that at 8:25AM the command received information about sporadic shooting along 4th Avenue in Festac Town and a joint team of policemen from Area E Headquarters promptly responded to the call.

On arrival, the policemen engaged the robbers, numbering over 40 all dressed in military camouflage and armed to the teeth, in a fierce gun battle.

The Police action forced the robbers to abandon a sum of 27,715,921 naira cash which was later recovered by the Police and transferred under armed escort to another branch of the bank located within Festac Town for safe keeping.

The Police action also forced the robbers to abandon 240 rounds of live AK47 ammunition.

The robbers, according to the Police, later retreated to the water front from where they fled using their speedboats.

The scene of the crime has since been cordoned off while the Police said they have commenced investigation.

The security in and out of Festac Town has been tightened on the order of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, while the Marine Police are intensifying their patrol of the waterways.

The CP has also reassured citizens of their safety, promising that the Command would do everything humanly possible to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to book.

Cynthia Osokogwu Was Strangled To Death- Pathologist

Consultant Pathologist, Prof. John Obafunwa, on Friday told a Lagos High Court in Ikeja that the late Cynthia Osokogu was strangulated by her killers.

Obafunwa was testifying at the resumed trial of four men allegedly involved in the death of the 25-year-old lady who was murdered at Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town, Lagos on July 22, 2012.

The defendants; Okwumo Nwabufo , Olisaeloka Ezike , Orji Osita and Ezike Nonso were charged to court by the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Obafunwa, who is the Chief Medical Examiner of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, told the court presided over by Justice Olabisi Akinlade that he conducted autopsy on Osokogu’s body.

The pathologist, led in evidence by the Lagos State Attorney General, Mr Ade Ipaye, said their findings revealed that the deceased was gagged and choked by her killers.

“From our findings, the deceased was asphyxiated which means absence of oxygen supply to the body.

“That was the immediate cause of death. It was as a result of the blockage of her upper respiratory airways.

“This blockage was caused by the deceased being gagged and choked,” Obafunwa said.

He told the court that there were multiple bruises and abrasions in Osokogu’s body, adding that what appears to be bite marks were on the front of her two thighs.

Obafunwa also insisted that the injuries on the body of the deceased could not have been self-inflicted.

Meanwhile the court also admitted as exhibits, 15 photographs of the crime scene taken by one, Mr Lucky Enamelo, a professional photographer.

The judge dismissed the objections of the defence counsel and admitted the photographs as Exhibit P1 to PO.

Ipaye also called the manager of Cosmilla Hotel, Mr Victor Ugweke to testify before the court.

Ugweke said he was informed that a body was in Room C1 of the hotel by the receptionist after she opened the room with a master key he had given her.

He said he went to the FESTAC Police Station to report the incident, adding that the police later came and took the body to the Ikeja General Hospital.

The matter was adjourned till May 24 for continuation of trial.