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Stats: 1,250 members, 10,866 Topics. Date: December 12, 2017, 3:25 pm

Killer Wife: Lawyers Disagree Over Sentence

BiafraSay Forum | BiafraSay General | Crime | Killer Wife: Lawyers Disagree Over Sentence (88 Views)

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Lagos – It is believed that the court is the last hope of the common man, and many are of the opinion that the judiciary is the voice for the oppressed in any society. This popular saying however, seems to be fading in Nigeria as her citizens now think otherwise.
The recent judgement delivered by a court in Oyo State, Nigeria on the case of a female lawyer who stabbed her husband to death is one that has got a lot of people in the society talking.
The suspect, Yewande Oyediran, was recently convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment by the court for stabbing her husband, Lowo, to death.
The convict: Oyediran, a staff of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the Oyo State Ministry of Justice, had stabbed her husband to death on Feb. 2, 2016, at Akobo area of Ibadan after a domestic fight. She was later charged on a lone charge of murder, contrary to Section 316 and punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Oyo State 2,000.
She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge, hence the beginning of the trial of Yewande who was a prosecutor in the Oyo state ministry of justice and someone who fights against crime became a defendant in a crime that has highest punishment. While some are of the believe that her trial is going to be a test for the judiciary because they are being watched by the society.
Meanwhile, family of the late Oyelowo also cried for justice and relied solely on the court to vindicate the death of their son.
However, when the trial started, the deceased family who seems not comfortable with the state of the matter after it was later taken to the High Court in Ibadan requested that the State should appoint a private prosecutor since the suspect before the incident was working with State Ministry Of Justice.
Her Defence: Yewande who had pleaded not guilty at her arraignment, denied killing her husband, stating that she still love him
Allegations flying round the town when the matter was first reported has it that the lawyer killed her husband because she found out that he has a son out of wedlock as the union between them did not produce any child.
In Yewande’s evidence before the court, she confirmed receiving a telephone call on 1 Feb. 2016 from one Racheal Jegede, who she described as the mother of Lowo’s son and was accusing her of not allowing Lowo to take care of the boy.
According to her, Lowo who was already in the bed that night picked a fight with her for raising the issue of the woman and her child and while he was beating her, she stabbed him with a scissors and he was treated for the wound by her landlady who was a retired nurse.
However, the convict said Lowo who was to meet his unfortunate end on Feb. 2 started beating her while sleeping and he was holding a knife but she ran for her life but she suddenly turned back when she heard her husband calling her name and when she got to where he was, blood was already coming out from his neck. she denied killing her husband in her eveidence in court.
Evidences Before The Court: Evidences which include that of the landlord of the house where the deceased and his wife lived till his death also showed that the convict and her late husband had frequently engaged in domestic violence.
The couple’s landlord and wife, Mr and Mrs Akinpelu, also told the court that they saw the convict holding a knife, while the deceased was in a pool of blood the day the unfortunate incident occurred.
A consultant from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Abideen Oluwashola, also revealed through an autopsy report during the trial that the deceased died as a result of shock from a deep wound caused by a sharp object.
The Judgement: The trial judge, Justice Munta Abimbola, while delivering the judgment said the suspect was convicted of manslaughter and not of murder as alleged. The Judge averred that the prosecution failed to prove that the act committed by the convict was intentional. He however noted that the statement of the convict with the police does not match up with her statement before the court, and it could not be relied upon.
In his judgment, Abimbola held that it was the convict who stabbed her deceased husband. He added that the imprisonment pronounced on Yewande was not to ruin, but to reform her. “If it is too long, it would ruin the life and as well jeopardise the job of the defendant, being a legal practitioner,” he said.
Reactions: Speaking on the recently delivered judgment, a senior lawyer and Former Commissioner in Oun State, Dr. Fassy Yussuf said; “The judge was able to tell the whole world that a murder was actually committed and even the circumstances, and the circumstances showed that the crime was not committed with the intention that her husband will die.
“On the point of law, the preponderance did not lead to the conclusion of the court to say that she intended the action to lead to death and therefore she was given a lesser punishment by getting seven years imprisonment which started counting from the day of her incarceration. Ordinarily, one might think it was a mild sentence but I think the essence of the conviction is not to make it punitive or not to be able to put her life together after the conviction.
“Seven years for a murder accuse is not too mild a punishment because it is something she has to live with for the rest of her life and to my humble mind; it is worse than sentencing her to death, for as long as she lives, that act she committed will continue to hunt her for the rest of her life.
This should also serve as a lesson to everyone not to over reacts to situations, and self-help will never help anybody. He said.”
Another legal practitioner, Barrister Adekunle Akinpelu disagrees with this view. In his opinion on the conviction of Yewande, he said the conviction is bias and based on professional conspiracy.
“The professional conspiracy was initiated by the private prosecution who refused to go all the way to press for maximum sentence commensurate to the charge of murder brought against the defendant under section 319 of the criminal code of oyo state, 2000 but rather in a strange procedure left the punishment to the discretion of the judge, despite the clear provision of the law.
“The judge also participated in the bias based on professional conspiracy. The findings of court based the weight of evidence presented in the case clearly and unequivocally points to the fact that the defendant stabbed the deceased on two different occasions. The court did not find it difficult to hold that the defendant killed the deceased by stabbing him, but decided to read into the evidence, the element on involuntary manslaughter by excluding intension.
“The finding of the court is again rather strange because it is elementary in law that ‘mens area’ (bad mind) and ‘actus reus’ which depict intention in a murder case can be deduced from a number of the act of the defendant, most importantly the consideration of the weapon used and the implication of the part of the body the injury that led to the deceased death was inflicted.”
Barr. Akinpelu further note that a scissor was used on the deceased a day before and knife on the neck of the deceased that resulted to his death cannot with due respect to the trial judge be without intention to kill.
“The bias based on professional conspiracy is to patently displayed in the judgement that the reason for sentencing the defendant to seven years imprisonment was not based on any law but because long sentence would ruin the life and as well jeopadise the job of the defendant as a legal practitioner the pertinent question is therefore that if the defendant were not to be a legal practitioner, would that court had applied another punishment on the same facts and evidence in the same circumstance?” Akinpelu said.

independent.ng/killer-wife-lawyers-disagree-sentence/

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