Friday, September 28, 2012

Policeman to Die by Hanging for Murder of 3-yr-Old Girl at Check Point

A 35-year-old policeman, ex-Corporal Ikechukwu Nwabueze was on Thursday sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Olabisi Akinlade of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja for the murder of a three-year-old-girl, Kafusara Muritala, by shooting her in her father’s car at a police check point at Obanle Aro Mr Biggs, Roundabout in Alapere Ketu.

During the duration of the trial, the prosecution led by Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan, the Director of Public Prosecution in Lagos State, four prosecution witnesses were called while the convicted policeman was the only witness in his defence.

They were the deceased's father Salau Muritala; a police officer, Mr James Adetoye; Professor John Obafunwa, a renowned pathologist and ASP Taminu Atumbi.

Justice Akinlade, while delivering judgment held that the prosecution had proved its case against the former police officer beyond reasonable doubt, adding that the weight of evidence before the court showed that Nwabueze had the intention to kill.

Nwabueze was alleged to have on April 5, 2009 shot at a car in which the parents, the three-year old Kafusara and her father's three friends were commuting at Mr. Biggs Junction at Alapere, Ketu.

The convicted policeman and his colleagues were said to have taken to their heels when they discovered that there was a fatality.

However, Nwabueze who was later dismissed from the Police Force, was said to have confessed during investigation that he shot at the tyre of the car in which the deceased girl and her parents were travelling.

While the trial was on, Nwabueze maintained that he was coerced into making the confessional statement by the police officer who investigated the case, claiming that he was not the only one that fired shots into the air and that other members of his team also did same.

When testifying in his defence, the convict gave contradictory accounts of what happened on the fateful day and admitted that he expended two rounds of ammunition that day though by law, he should only do this if his life is being threatened.

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