A Cross River State High Court sitting in Calabar has sentenced a retired worker of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Godwin Elewana, to death by hanging.

The court found Elewana guilty of the murder of a 22-year-old pupil, Douglas Ojugbo, on March 10, 2015 over suspicion that the victim was having an affair with his daughter, Mercy.

Elewana, who had been in prison custody since 2016, was arraigned on one count of murder

The presiding judge of the court, Justice Ukpa Ebitam, said the prosecution team, led by Eneji Amajama, a Deputy Director in the Department of Public Prosecutions in the state Ministry of Justice, proved its case that the accused committed the crime.

Ebitam listed the several confessional statements, hospital reports and other exhibits presented in the course of trial as reasons the accused was convicted.

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He said, “The prosecution team was able to establish ingredients of murder against the accused. On whether it was the act of the accused that caused the death of the victim, the prosecution team placed reliance mostly on the confessional statement of the accused…clearly, the statement linked the murder to the accused.

“The prosecution team also proved the second ingredient of murder which was the intentional act. To have fired the victim twice with his pump-action gun, I agree that the killing was intentional. I hereby find the accused person guilty of murder.

“Subject to Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Cross River State, any person who commits murder is sentenced to death by hanging.”

The mother of the victim, Maria Ojugbo, said, “I thank God for doing what should be done. It is stated in the Bible that anyone who kills by the sword, will die by the sword. Elewana had no reason whatsoever to kill my son in such a manner and conceal the act by burying him. It was Almighty God that gave approval for this judgement.”

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