A 30-year old hotel staff, Jeffrey Ehizogie, has been sentenced to death by hanging for killing his boss, Managing Director of Etsahol Hotel and Suites, Olusola Olusoga and the hotel manager, Tunji Omikunle.
It was gathered that the judgment of Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos High Court, held that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts.
The Presiding Judge, Ogala, found Ehizogie guilty of beating and strangling the victims at the hotel located at Ojodu-Berger, Lagos and sentenced him accordingly.
Justice Ogala, while delivering judgment, stated that the crux of the case of the prosecution was premised on the confessional statement of the convict as well as circumstantial evidence.
She stated that the Court had carefully considered the retracted defence statement, (which was admitted as evidence), which showed where Ehizojie stated that one of the hotel staff, Henry, had informed him that he observed that the owner of the hotel kept much money at home.
Ogala stated: “The defendant, in his confessional statement said that Olusoga treated her workers badly so they planned to tie her and collect her money”
“Confessional statement is the best evidence to ground conviction and as held in several cases, it can be relied upon solely where voluntary.”
“It is curious that the defendant, who was privy to the state of affairs in the hotel, told the Court that he was shocked when the Police informed him of the death of his boss and the manager when he was arrested in Port Harcourt.”
“There is no doubt that the defendant was present at the premises of the scene of crime as confirmed by him in his evidence in chief and exhibits before the Court.”
The judge held that the Court had carefully considered the evidence of the defendant, particularly his account of how he left the hotel premises on 25th January, 2019 and his incredible story as to why he did not return to the hotel after the incident nor report at the Police station.
She held that the convict had no clear explanation why he fled to Port Harcourt the next day until his arrest.
The judge stated that the circumstantial evidence against the convict was unequivocal, positive and irresistibly pointed to his guilt.
“The Court believes that the defendant indeed wrote the confessional statement (exhibit PW2a-c) and his feeble attempt to retract same was to exonerate himself from the commission of the deadly act.”
“After a careful consideration of the facts in this case, I hereby finds the defendant guilty of the two-count charge against him.”
“The sentencing of the Court upon you Jeffrey Ehizogie is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead.”
The State Prosecution said that Ehizogie and others still at large, strangulated the UK returnee Olusoga, by beating her with a rope.
They also submitted that the convict strangled and beat Omikunle to death.
He then collected a key from his pocket, opened Olusola’s apartment and strangThe prosecution called four witnesses, hotel staff, David Nkwor, ASP Chris Akpanomo, ASP Malik Aliyu and Harrison Bruce, against the convict.
The Court sentenced him accordingly on the offence, which contravened the provisions of Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 and was remanded in custody pending when he will be hanged in line with the Court’s Judgment.