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 Orders That Alleged Nyanya Bombers Be Tried In Camera

NyanyaA Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered that the alleged mastermind of the April 14 Nyanya bomb blast, Aminu Ogwuche and five orders be tried in camera.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who gave the order, also allowed the prosecution to use aliases for the defence witnesses.

At the resumed trial of Aminu Oguwche and five others accused of carrying out the April 14 Nyanya bomb blast which claimed over 76 lives, the Prosecution applied to hold the trial in camera to protect the witnesses in the case.

The prosecutors also wanted the court to allow the witnesses be masked to prevent a breach of their personal safety.

The Director of Public Prosecution, Musa Din, told the court that the nature of the case for which the accused persons are standing trial is sensitive and there was the need to ensure witnesses’ protection so as not to expose them to danger.

The defence lawyers did not oppose a camera trial, they however opposed the application for the witnesses to be masked.

This was on the grounds that it is alien to Nigerian laws and masking the witnesses would deny the defence the opportunity to properly examine the witnesses.

They argued that this also violates the rights of the accused persons to fair hearing.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, while granting three of the prayers which bothered on witnesses protection, however, rejected an application requesting that the witnesses be masked.

He said that there would be no threat to the witnesses because members of the public have been excluded from the trial. He advised the prosecution to take other measures to protect the identity of the witnesses during trial.

Justice Mohammed ordered that the accused persons, their lawyers and selected journalists screened by the court be allowed access for the trial.

Ogwuche was extradited from Sudan with the help of Interpol on July 15, 2014 to answer charges of terrorism leveled against him in relation to the twin bombing in Nyanya motor park in the outskirts of Abuja which claimed 76 lives on April 14, 2014.