Court Sentences Bus Driver To Death


Justice Habeeb Abiru of an Ikeja High Court in Lagos, yesterday sentenced a bus driver, Tunde Akinola, to death for killing his wife, Mrs. Funmilayo Awosika.

The prosecutor, Mr. A.A. Sanusi, said Akinola murdered his wife on 4 February, 2006, by stabbing her with a broken beer bottle after an argument at Oshodi Motor Park, Lagos.

Delivering judgment, Abiru said the accused was guilty of murder “because the prosecution proved his case beyond reasonable doubt.”

He said that for a murder charge to hold, the prosecution must prove that the deceased died from the action of the accused person.

He said such action must be with the intention of causing bodily harm to the victim.

Abiru said that the accused, in his statement of confession to the police which he later retracted during trial, admitted to stabbing the deceased with a broken bottle.

“In the statement, he told the police that he was married to the deceased, a petty trader, for seven years and that the marriage was blessed with three children.

“He told the police that on that day, his wife came to meet him where he was drinking and asked him whether he was still alive.

“He claimed the woman tried to poison him in April 2005 and that he fell ill after eating her food,” he said.

The judge said the accused also told the police that it took him almost a year to recover from the strange ailment and that the wife abandoned him during this period.

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He said that Akinola’s statement admitted by the court implicated him on the murder.

He added that the accused’s attempt to cook up story a that the wife fell into a gutter was not consistent with the facts.

“There was no way the police could have known these facts about him if he had not made the statement.

“He was present at the crime scene and had every opportunity to commit the crime,” the judge said.

He said that from the photographs tendered before the court, it was clear that the deceased was stabbed on the neck and other parts of her body with broken bottle.

Abiru said the action of the accused was not in self-defence but intentional because the victim was reportedly stabbed in various places.

“I find the accused guilty of murder which is contrary to Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Law Cap C. Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State 2003 and punishable by death.

“I hereby sentence Akinola to death for the murder of Funmilayo Awosika,” the judge said.

The convict’s counsel, Mrs. O. Rotimi, appealed to the judge to temper justice with mercy because of the children.

The judge, however, maintained that the law stated clearly that the punishment for murder is death.

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