Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has sentenced a house help, Telema Amaso ,to death by hanging for the murder of Helen Ibiba Bobmauel, who was strangled to death in 2013, at her residence in Woji axis of the state.
Amaso, who was convicted for murder, was a house help to Mrs. Bobmanuel and her late husband, as at the time the crime was committed.
The convict and one Ndubuisi Chukwuemeka were tried for murder, conspiracy to murder and stealing; but, conspiracy to murder was struck out and the second defendant was charged with accessory to the fact of murder.
Justice Silverline Iragonima, who delivered judgement yesterday, said the first and second defendants were convicted because of overwhelming evidence before the court including the confessional statements given to the police which indicted them of committing the crime.
Justice Iragonima said that though the first defendant, Amaso, denied and retracted his confessional statements, he failed to convince the court that he never committed the crime.
On the conviction of the second defendant, Chukwuemeka, for stealing, Justice Iragonima said the court found him guilty because his claims that he never knew that the first defendant had committed crime, did not convince the court to discharge him of the offence.
Daily Sun gathered that the two convicts, Amaso and Chukwuemeka, were arrested on September 17, 2013, shortly after it was found out that Mrs. Ibiba Bobmanuel had been murdered and her property worth N5 million including Hyundai Elantra saloon car, laptop and phone were taken away from her house by the first defendant, who was assisted by Chukwuemeka.
Meanwhile, Chinedum Ugwu, counsel for the two convicts, said they would seek the advice of the first defendant, if he plans to challenge the judgement of the court.
In a related development, Justice Chiwendu Nwogu of High Court in Port Harcourt yesterday, sentenced three persons to death by hanging after they were convicted for the kidnap and murder of a 32-year-old young lawyer, Sampson Worlu in 2015.
The three convicts, Chiwendu Alozie, Wilfred Jumbo and Gift Amadi were tried for kidnapping, conspiracy to murder and murder.
They were arrested in 2016 with the help of investigation conducted by Department of State Security Service after the family of the late young lawyer Worlu reported the matter.
Justice Nwogu, who convicted the three persons, said evidence provided by the prosecution team and the confessional statements by the accused were weighty enough and the court relied on them to deliver the judgement.
He said the court was convinced that they committed the crime and the law cannot look the other way.
Daily Sun gathered that Chijioke Wisdom, one of the persons arrested along with the three convicted persons, died while in prison custody and three others who allegedly participated in the kidnapping and murder of the late lawyer are still at large.
Meanwhile, two family members of the deceased, Charles Worlu and George Chindah, in their reaction after the judgement, said they were happy that justice has been served.
They regretted that the kidnappers, despite collecting ransom of N1 million from them, still went ahead to kill the young lawyer, who was on one year mandatory National Youth Service Corps in Imo State.