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Lagos court sentences hotel staff to death for murder of manager, UK returnee


A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, has sentenced a hotel staff, Jeffrey Ehizogie to death by hanging for killing the manager of the hotel, Tunji Omikunle and a UK returnee, Sola Olusoga.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala who sentenced the 30-year-old Ehizogie on Tuesday, found him guilty on two-counts of the murder charge filed against him by the state government.

In the suit numbered ID/10428C/2019, Ehizogie and others at large were charged with strangling Olusoga to death with a rope on January 25, 2019 at Etasol Hotel, No. 42, Budland Street, Ojodu-Berger, while Omikunle was beaten to death and his body dumped in a toilet in the hotel.

The convict was first arraigned before the court on December 7, 2020 and had pleaded not guilty to the charges and his trial commenced on February 25, 2021.

During trial, the prosecution called four witnesses against the defendant, among whom were the then hotel staff, David Nkwor, two police officers, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Chris Akpanomo, ASP Malik Aliyu and Harrison Bruce.

In her verdict, Justice Ogala held that there was no doubt that the defendant was present at the premises of the scene of crime as confirmed by him in his evidence and exhibits before the court.

“The defendant had the motive and the opportunity to commit the offences he stands charged with others at large. Most of all the confessional statements are consistent with the other facts before the court,” she held.

“The court has carefully considered the evidence of the defendant before the court, particularly his account of how he left the premises on January 25, 2019, and his incredible story as to why he did not return to the hotel after the incident nor report at the Police Station.

“The defendant had no clear explanation as to why he had to flee to Port Harcourt the next day up until his arrest. The court believes that the defendant indeed wrote the confessional statement and his feeble attempt to retract was to exonerate himself from the commission of the deadly act.

“The court therefore found that the circumstantial evidence against the defendant in this instance is unequivocal, positive and irresistibly points to the guilt of the defendant on the two count charges he stands faced with.

“Having found the defendant, Jeffrey Ehizogie guilty of the two counts of murder, the sentence of the court upon you, Jeffrey Ehizogie, is that you would be hanged by the neck until you are dead. May the Lord have mercy on your soul,” she said.

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