An FCT High Court on Wednesday, sentenced one Vitalis Ugwu and Onyebuchi Agbede to death by hanging for murder.
Ugwu, a business man and Agbede, a ritualist, were convicted on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy to commit culpable homicide and culpable homicide, punishable by death.
Deborah Omolayo, holding brief for Lough Simon as Prosecution, said that the convicts were first arraigned in court on Nov. 20, 2006.
The prosecutor told the court that Ugwu had, on Oct. 1, 2004, killed his elder brother, Fidelis Ugwu by cutting off his head for ritual purpose in order to become rich.
“By then, they pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
“He did this on the instigation and assurance of Agbede, the ritualist,’’ she said.
In order to establish the case, the Prosecution called five witnesses and tendered eighteen exhibits which were all admitted and marked as evidences.
“These evidences included pictures of the scene of the incident and the deceased, warrant to bury, the cutlass and statements etc.”
Omolayo said the crime contravened sections 97 and 221 of the Penal Code.
Delivering the judgement, Justice Abubakar Talba said that the convicts had the right of appeal within thirty days.
He said that the judgement was delivered after due consideration of the first convict’s plea for leniency.
“Here is a man who, in a bid to get rich quick, killed his own brother who trained him and settled him to start his own business.
“On the other hand, here is a man who, for ritual purposes, instigates another person to kill his own brother and to bury the head.
“Justice is not a one-way traffic but a three-way traffic and I will be failing in my duty if I do not allow the law to take its course,’’ Talba said.
According to the Judge, it is a notorious fact that ritual killings are rampant in African societies and Nigeria in particular.
He emphasised that those who engaged in such crimes were a danger to the society; hence, should be prepared to face the wrath of the law when caught