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.

Cynthia Osukogu’s Murder: Court Fixes March 23 For Judgment

Cynthia Osukogu's Murder: Court Fixes March 23 For JudgmentThe Lagos State High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of Lagos Island will on March 23 deliver judgment in the trial of four men charged with the gruesome murder of Cynthia Osukogu, a postgraduate student of Nassarawa State University.

Justice Olabisi Akinlade fixed the date on Thursday after counsel to the Lagos State government and those who represented the defendants adopted their final written addresses.

The late Cynthia Osokogu was murdered on July 22, 2012 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lake View Estate, Festac Town in Lagos by men she allegedly met and became friends with on the popular social media platform, Facebook.

Those accused of the crime are Okwumo Nwabufo aged 38; Ezike Nwabufo aged 28; Orji Osita, 37; and Ezike Nonso, 29.

They were all arraigned before the court on a six-count charge of conspiracy, murder, stealing, reckless negligence and possession of stolen goods, charges brought against them by the Lagos State government.

The offences are said to contravene sections 221, 249, 285 and 327 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

One of the defence counsel, Victor Opara urged the court to dismiss the charges against the defendants because the state had failed to link them to the crime.

The lawyer also argued that it is the law that in any situation where the prosecution fails to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, the court must rule in favour of the defendants.

However, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Alakija urged the court to convict the defendants on the strength of the evidence the state has placed before it.

Court Defers Trial Of Synagogue Church, Engineers Till June 3

Synagogue, CourtA Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has fixed June 3 for the trial of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).

The two engineers, who constructed the collapsed six-storey guest house belonging to the church, will also be tried on the same date.

Trial was supposed to commence on Wednesday, June 1, but was stalled after the Director of Lagos State Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Alakija, informed the court that she had just served the proof of evidence to the defence team in court earlier in the morning.

She asked the court to stand down the matter to enable the defence team study the documents after which she would call her first witness and proceed with the trial.

However, counsel to the trustees of the Synagogue Church, Lateef Fagbemi, objected to the request for a stand down.

He asked the court to instead, adjourn proceedings for at least a day to enable the defence team study the proof of evidence and call its experts to analyse it.

The presiding judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, had to adjourn the trial in the interest of fair hearing, to enable the defence team more time to study the proof of evidence.

The Synagogue Church building which collapsed on September 12, 2014 in the Ikotun area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria was said to have killed no fewer than 116 persons, most of them foreign nationals.

The registered trustees of SCOAN, the two engineers, Akinbela Fatiregun and Oladele Ogundeji, alongside their companies – Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company, and Jandy Trust Limited are being tried on 111 charges of involuntary manslaughter and failure to obtain building approval contrary to Section 41 of the Urban and Regional Planning Law of Lagos State.