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A Cross River State High Court sitting in Calabar on Wednesday sentenced a retired worker of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr . Godwin Elewana, to death by hanging. The court found Elewana guilty of the murder of a 22 year old pupil, Douglas Ojugbo, on March 10, 2015 over suspicion that the victim was having an affair with his daughter, Mercy.

Elewana, who had been in prison custody since 2016, was arraigned on one count of murder in case no. HC / 9 C / 2015. The presiding judge of the court, Justice Ukpa Ebitam, said the prosecution team, led by Mr . Eneji Amajama, a Deputy Director in the Department of Public Prosecutions in the state Ministry of Justice, proved its case that the accused committed the crime.

Ebitam listed the several confessional statements, hospital reports and other exhibits presented in the course of trial as reasons the accused was convicted. He said,“The prosecution team was able to establish ingredients of murder against the accused. On whether it was the act of the accused that caused the death of the victim, the prosecution team placed reliance mostly on the confessional statement of the accused clearly, the statement linked the murder to the accused.

The prosecution team also proved the second ingredient of murder which was the intentional act. To have fired the victim twice with his pump action gun, I agree that the killing was intentional. I hereby find the accused person guilty of murder. “Subject to Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Cross River State, any person who commits murder is sentenced to death by hanging.”

Moments before the verdict was given, the defence counsel, Mr. Clement Ukaegbu, had pleaded for leniency. Ukaegbu’s position was supported by another lawyer, Mr . Orchardson Umoh, who pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy on the grounds that the convict had a good religious standing and high integrity in the society.

Shortly after the verdict, the leader of the prosecution team, Amajama, said the law had taken its course. He said,“I thank God that we have industrious and sound judges who still uphold the rule of law. Today, the parents of the deceased would have some respite that the law of the land took its course.

‘This judgement will serve as a deterrent to others that you cannot do what is wrong and go away with it and I think that our society will be better for it. “The accused was tried under Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Cross River State. Under this section, the judge does not have the right to give him life imprisonment or any other jail term. The judge has just done what the law stipulates.”

The mother of the victim, Mrs . Maria Ojugbo, said, “I thank God for doing what should be done. It is stated in the Bible that anyone who kills by the sword, will die by the sword. Elewana had no reason whatsoever to kill my son in such a manner and conceal the act by burying him. It was Almighty God that gave approval for this judgement.

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Tinubu Lied, He Was Silent When Herdsmen Attacked Falae, South West – Odumakin Fights Back

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The National Publicity Secretary of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, has said a former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, lied when he said that herdsmen had not wreaked havoc in the South West part of the country.

Odumakin, who spoke in reaction to an earlier statement by Tinubu, signed by his spokesman, Tunde Rahman, said herdsmen had in the past attacked a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, and farmers in parts of the South West.

He listed areas attacked by the herdsmen to include Yewaland in Ogun State, Oke Ogun in Oyo State, Akure in Ondo State and parts of Ekiti State.

He said in the statement on Thursday: “Tinubu has maintained a sinful silence as herdsmen launched vicious attacks on the South-West and other sections of the country with thousands of lives lost in the last three years.

“He can play the ostrich all he wants but we know he was mute when herdsmen kidnapped Chief Olu Falae. He could not find his voice when herders killed people in Yewa, Oke Ogun, Akure, Ekiti and the Middle Belt.

“Neither did I hear a word from Tinubu when herdsmen kidnapped and killed a Permanent Secretary in Osun (where Tinubu and I are from).”

Odumakin said behaved as a federalist when it suited him, adding that cattle herders as businessmen should apply to state governors for land allocation if they were interested in ranching.

He added in the statement: “I do not intend to take issues with him in all the personal attacks and insinuations of disorder of the mind. Why should I when I know that it is chronic abusers of substance that are more prone to suffer from such? Thank God I am not one of them.”

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JUST IN: FG Announces N24,000 Proposed New Minimum Wage For Civil Servants

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that after consultations, it has proposed N24,000 as the new minimum wage for civil servants.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, stated this Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Ngige was responding to media reports quoting the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, saying that the tri-partite committee discussing the demand for a new minimum wage, has agreed to increase it from the current N19,200 to N30,000.

“Such information is not true,” Ngige said.

The Minister said when the committee reconvened on October 5, after the NLC had called off its nationwide strike, “the organised labour came down to N30,000, the organised private sector came down to N25,000.”

He also said the federal government had to consult with the 36 state governors.

After the consultations, he said, the federal government proposed N24,000 while governors proposed N20,000.

Ngige said the government is therefore still consulting and negotiation is ongoing.

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How Female Lawyer Killed, Cut Off Husband’s Intestines — Witnesses Tell Court

Peter Okunoren

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A friend and sibling of the 50-year-old lawyer, Symphorosa Otike-Odibi, who was allegedly stabbed to death by his wife, Udeme Otike-Odibi, on Monday narrated how they found Symphorosa’s corpse on his matrimonial bed with his genitals and intestines cut off.

Udeme, a 48-year-old lawyer, was on June 13, arraigned before an Igbosere High Court in Lagos, by the Lagos State Government on a two-count charge of murder and misconduct.

She pleaded not guilty and was remanded in Kirikiri prison.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, Symphorosa’s friend and neighbour, Mr Stanley Grange-Koko, was led in evidence by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr Adeniji Kazeem (SAN).

He told the court how the deceased’s younger sister, Dr Anwuli Akwukwuma, called him at 2.00am on May 2, to go to the deceased’s (Symphorosa) house and check what was happening.

Grange-Koko said he rushed out of his car but could not gain access to the compound because no one answered when he knocked at the gate and called out the deceased’s name severally.

Grange-Koko said he went back to his house but rushed back to the deceased’s house the second time when Akwukwuma called him back.

“Dr Akwukwuma called me back and said I should go back to the deceased house because it seems life is involved.

“At this point, I went with my wife, also called the estate security men, we had to climb the fence into the deceased compound.

“We also broke down the front door to gain access to the house because no one answered our several knocks,” he said.

Grange-Koko said that he ran upstairs and saw blood on the floor, adding that he followed the blood trail to the bathroom and to the deceased room.

He said both him and the security men had to break the door to the deceased’s room.
“I saw the deceased lying on his bed with his wife (the defendant) lying beside him and there was blood everywhere.

“The deceased intestines were outside, I ran out and met the deceased sister coming up to the room, I tried to stop her from entering the room but she ran past me and entered,” Grange-Koko said.

He said the deceased sister ran out of the room shouting that her brother was dead but the defendant was breathing.

Grange-Koko said the defendant was, however, taken to hospital for further valuation.

After Grange-Koko’s evidence, the second witness, Dr Akwukwuma was called.

She narrated exactly what Grange-Koko had told the court but added that she called Grange-Koko because he was living in the same estate with the deceased and was a family friend to the deceased.

Akwukwuma also added that she got the information about the problem through her mother whom the deceased called earlier to complain that his wife was hitting him and had a knife.

She added “when I got to the deceased house and saw him lying on his bed with his intestines out, I checked him and saw that he was already cold and stretched out.

“I noticed that he had died for hours and he was holding something in his arm but I couldn’t see what it was because he was already stiff.

“The police told me that it was his genitals that he was holding and asked me if there was another person in the room when I got there, I answered no,” Akwukwuma narrated.

The prosecutor also called a third witness, a younger brother to the deceased, Mr Andrew Otike-Odibi, who narrated the same story.

After listening to the three witnesses, Justice Adedayo Akintoye adjourned the further hearing until Oct. 10.

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