A Bayelsa State High Court VII sitting in Yenagoa, yesterday, sentenced Cpl Vincent Olama to death by hanging for extrajudicial killing.
In his judgment, Justice Nayai Aganaba said Olama was found guilty of killing 17 -year-old, Innocent Kokorifa, in Okaka, Yenagoa, on Aug 18, 2016.
Aganaba said the prosecution called 10 witnesses and produced 16 exhibits, while the defence only had one witness, who happened to be the accused.
The judge noted that the onus of proof that the accused committed the murder of Kokorifa rested with the prosecution, in line with the three ingredients to prove a murder case.
These are: That the deceased died; that the death of the deceased was caused by the accused and that the action of the accused, which caused the death of the deceased, was intentional with the knowledge that death or grievous bodily harm was its probable consequence.
Aganaba said, “It is unfortunate that I can only pronounce the sentence prescribed by law.
“I wish I had the discretion to do otherwise. However, that discretion rests with the executive governor of Bayelsa.
“I am only left with the compulsion to pronounce the sentence prescribed by law. I hope that person with the discretion would look at the circumstance of this case and do the needful.
“I hereby pronounce my sentence. My sentence upon you is that you shall hang on the neck until you die. May the Lord have mercy on your soul.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convict hails from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
He was attached to anti-vice/anti-kidnapping team on Air Force Road in Yenagoa on Aug 18, 2016 and was on patrol when the incident happened.
In his reaction, the father of the deceased, Mr Daniel Kokorifa, an official of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), expressed delight at the outcome of the trial.
“My son, Innocent, has been proved innocent that he is not an armed robber or a cultist.
“I am happy that justice has prevailed to show that the judiciary is really working.
“I am grateful to God and those who stood behind me and my family in the trying time, before this judgment,” he said.
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