Nigeria: Court Admits Video of Cleric Confessing to Beheading Woman for N4,000

A Lagos High Court in Igbosere has admitted in evidence a video showing an Islamic cleric, Taofeek Adamu, confessing to beheading a member of his mosque for N4,000. Adamu, 61, of Masinowe compound, Ikoga in Badagry, is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder, preferred against him by the Lagos State government.

Prosecuting counsel, Mrs. O.F. Fagbai, yesterday alleged that Adamu, alias Kiekie, severed the head of Oluwakemi Afolabi, 38, at about 4:00p.m. on March 19, 2017 at Waterside, Ikoga-Zebbe in Badagry. She said the deceased went to seek spiritual help from the cleric, but "the defendant beheaded the deceased before chopping off her other parts for ritual purposes.

Adamu was apprehended when members of the community saw him carrying a sack soaked with blood. The alleged offences contravened sections 222 and 233 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

At the last adjourned date on April 9, the prosecution sought to tender the video through the police as electronically-generated evidence, but this was opposed by the defence counsel, Mrs. A.O. Ajayi.

According to the prosecution, the video, found on the internet, showed Adamu confessing to the crime, during a press interview conducted by former Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Fatai Owoseni. But the defence prayed the court to reject the video, arguing among others that the document does not indicate the name of the officer that produced it.

In her response Fagbai argued that the paramount thing to consider is whether the actual document is relevant. "The prosecution has complied, I urge you lordship to discountenance the objection the defence raised, as this document we sought to tender is very important and the original is before the court," Fagbai said.

In her ruling yesterday, Justice Akinkugbe upheld the prosecution's argument. She held that the electronically generated document complied with Section 84 of the Evidence Act and "is therefore admissible". The case continues on May 21.

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