21 January 2013

Nigeria: Sex Worker Jailed Six Years for Manslaughter

Lagos — A 27-year-old commercial sex worker, Nkechi Okafor, who was accused of murdering a client, Abiodun Sarumi, has been sentenced to six years imprisonment.

Okafor was Monday, sentenced by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court to six years imprisonment, starting from the time she was remanded in prison custody.

The prosecution had earlier charged Miss Okafor for murder, but later amended the charge to manslaughter.

Okunnu said from evidence before her, Miss Okafor acted on impulse by stabbing Sarumi but without the intention to kill.

She noted that her defence for the act was not enough to exonerate her of the crime.

After the judge pronounced the judgment, Miss Okafor, pleaded with the court, amid sobs, to have mercy on her, saying she didn't have anybody to help her and that she was sorry for what happened.

Her defence counsel, Mrs. A. Onabolu, who also pleaded on her behalf, said the defendant was a young woman in her prime, a first offender and that she was sorry for what happened.

It will be recalled that the accused was first arraigned on March 16, 2012, on a one-count charge of murder.

The prosecuting counsel, Olabisi Ogungbesan, had told the court that the accused on March 2, 2010, at about 23:30 hours, at Nice Time Hotel, Old Ipaja Road, Lagos, killed her client, one Mr. Abiodun Sarumi, by stabbing him with a bottle on his shoulder, close to the armpit.

Ogungbesan said investigation carried out in the matter by Inspector Ada Erondu from state Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos, confirmed that when she visited the scene of the crime at Nice Time Hotel, she saw broken glasses of the window of the hotel.

She said the sex worker admitted that she stabbed Sarumi but that she didn't know that he was going to die.

She added that on the said date of the crime, Sarumi came out with blood all over him and was shouting for help.

Ogungbesan said an angry mob, which saw Sarumi in blood, wanted to kill Nkechi, who ran back to the room and locked herself in.

In her evidence-in-chief, Okafor claimed that she killed the victim in self-defence.

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