From Blessing IIbunge, Port Harcourt
A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has sentenced Gracious David-West to death by hanging for the serial murder of nine girls in hotels in different parts of the state.
Gracious who was charged with 10 counts of murder and attempted murder committed the crime in hotels where he strangled his victims to death and thereafter used white cloth to tie their hands and legs before collecting their valuables in 2019.
The trial Judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, ruled that Gracious should be hang on his neck until he is dead, insisting that the prosecution was able to prove their case behind reasonable doubts with all the evidence and witness brought before the court.
According to the Judge, the decision of the court was based on voluntary statement and confession of the convict as well as the CCTV footage of Gracious tendered and displayed during trial which proved that he is guilty of the crime carried out between July 30 and September, 2019.
The second defendant in the case, Nimi ThankGod, a manager of one of the hotels in Port Harcourt where one of the young women was killed was however acquitted and discharged by the judge after the state prosecuting counsel failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that accused committed the act.
ThankGod who faced a one count charge bordering on misconduct with corpse, was accused of evacuating the corpse of the young women killed in her hotel room where she served as a manager and dumped the body at a dumpsite along Aggrey road in Port Harcourt in August, 2019.
Meanwhile, Counsel for David-West, Vincent Chukwu in his plea on behalf of his client, begged the court for leniency on the grounds that his client is a father of three young children.
Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, Counsel to the convict, Vincent Chukwu, said his client will appeal the judgement in higher court.
On their parts, State Prosecution Counsel, Chidi Eke applauded the court for the Judgment, adding that it would serve as deterrent to all those involved in such act.
“With respect to the 2nd defendant, she escaped by the whiskers, not that the offence with which she was charged was not committed, but it was difficult to determine who exactly did it as the witnesses who would have ordinarily provided that answer suddenly disappeared from the state until date.
“I am happy that this judgement was given, it would serve as a deterrent to all such persons with such disposition who are always taking to crime to know that there are consequences,” he stressed.
However, Counsel for Nimi ThankGod, Lezina Amegua, expressed happiness over the judgment which exonerated his client.