Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has convicted and sentenced a couple: Fortune and Stephen Nwankwo for 14 and two years’ imprisonment respectively for the involuntary manslaughter of their 19-year-old maid, Joy Adole.
Justice Ogala sentenced the wife, Fortune to 14 years imprisonment for involuntary manslaughter and five years’ imprisonment for attempt to pervert the course of justice and misconduct as regards the corpse and ordered that it must run concurrently
Nwankwo (husband) was jailed for two years for conspiracy and attempting to pervert justice, misconduct as regards the corpse and accessory after the fact of a felony.
The judge, however, discharged and acquitted them of the charge of accessory after the fact to murder and after the fact to a felony.
The Lagos State government arraigned the couple before the court on an eight-count amendment charge of conspiracy, involuntary manslaughter, misconduct with regards to the corpse, accessory after the fact to felony and accessory after the fact to murder.
The Nwankwos were accused of killing 19-year-old Adole on April 20, 2020, at their residence located at 18, Ogundola Street Bariga, Lagos.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. They claimed that the deceased committed suicide by hanging herself in her bedroom.
In her judgment, the judge held that the prosecution had convincingly proved the charge of manslaughter, conspiracy and attempt to pervert justice and misconduct as regards the death of their maid in their residence at Bariga, Lagos.
The court held that she was convinced that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were not only strong but also corroborated the fact that the housemaid died due to the beating by Fortune, the first defendant.
She stated, “the first defendant beat the deceased which caused her death as she had not been feeling well before the incident.
The defendants did not inform or call the family of the deceased from 5:00 a.m. when they found out she had died until noon when the second defendant called the sister of the deceased and asked for her full name and other personal information to enable them to embalm her in the morgue.
“The second defendant, having found out that the first defendant had killed the deceased due to the beating, assisted her in perverting the course of justice by hanging the body with a rope.
“There were three adults in the house. The defendants and the housemaid. The defendants were the last two adults that got in contact with the housemaid before her death.”
“The hanging was staged and the deceased was hung by a rope and the position the police found her body did not depict suicide as her feet were on the floor,” the court held.