A High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, on Monday sentenced a domestic worker, Joseph Ogbu, to death by hanging for killing his employer, an 89-year-old grandmother, Adejoke John, and her daughter, Oreoluwa, at their home in the Surulere area of the state.
Justice Modupe Nicole-Clay handed down the verdict after she found the convict guilty of three counts of armed robbery and murder.
After Ogbu was arrested, the Lagos State Government arraigned him on October 22, 2019.
He was charged with three counts of armed robbery and murder preferred against him by the state.
According to the prosecution, the offence committed contravened Sections 222 and 297 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
Ogbu pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.
Ogbu, while committing the crime on June 19, 2019, strangulated Adejoke, and stabbed her pregnant daughter to death.
The convict also robbed the octogenarian of her Toyota Camry Saloon car with number plate, FST 104 CW, LG plasma TV, motorway handset, one Gionee handset, one Nokia phone, one i-Tel phone, and one power bank.
The prosecutor said the incident took place around 9.30pm at No 4, Ogunlana Drive, in the Surulere area of the state.
In her judgment, the trial judge, Nicole-Clay, held that Ogbu confessed to the crime.
She said, “He killed one Adejoke by strangling her, and one Oreoluwa by stabbing her to death.
“I have considered the evidence of the security guard, an Okada man, one Yahya Ibrahim, the house help, and a policeman.”
Nicole-Clay held that the convict admitted to living with the deceased mother and daughter, and he was the only witness of the incident.
She stated that the defendant did not raise an objection to the admissibility of the confessional statement.
“There’s no doubt that the defendant confessed to the crimes,” Nicole-Clay said.
According to the judge, the defendant could not give an explanation of what he was doing with all the stolen items he was found with around 2am on the day he was arrested.
“The evidence is shown to the satisfaction of this court and the court has established guilt against the defendant. He is hereby guilty as charged,” Nicole-Clay said.
After convicting him, the judge told Ogbu, “I have to hear from you, you have been found guilty.”
In his response, the convict, who spoke in Pidgin English, said, “The mama no die for my presence. I beg for mercy.”
In his allocutus, the defence counsel, Moses Enema, told the judge, “The defendant is a first-time offender, a son to a young widow, largely dependent on this son.
“In the course of the trial, my lord, the defendant was very remorseful; it’s an indication that he is willing to turn a new leave. We do pray the court to temper justice with mercy.”
Nicole-Clay pronounced, “This court has found Joseph Ogbu guilty of these heinous crimes, you are hereby sentenced to death by hanging.”