By Nwafor Okafor
A High court sitting in Onitsha, Anambra State on Wednesday sentenced two youths, Valentine Umezinwa and Emeka Okolonji to death over the murder of a sex worker, Blessing Eze.
The Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice D.A Onyefulu, has earlier last week adjourned the matter to February 9th. 2022 in accordance with the new Anambra State Law.
Delivering judgement, Justice Onyefulu said he listened to the cross examination by the state counsel, N. S. Emeka and the response from the prison officials who testified of the good conduct of the accused during their period in correctional facilities as well mother of Emeka Okolonji who wept bitterly in court, lamenting that her son had been nursing the ambition to study abroad had never been found with bad gang.
In his ruling Justice Onyefulu said the Counsel to the suspects had the option of appeal or go through the committee of prerogative of mercy, stressing that the governor had the final say on the matter.
The judge said, “The Counsel have not shown enough reason why justice should be tampered with mercy”.
The Judge had earlier rejected the plea by their Counsel on the ground of youthful exuberance, arguing that if that should be allowed to stand youth would be acting anyhow and wasting people’s lives.
Reacting on the judgement, the prosecuting counsel, N. S. Emeka, said justice had been done to the deceased, to the state and to the convicts, stressing that the convicts had the right to appeal.
The defence Counsel, C. C. Okeke said they received the judgment with open heart, but would approach the committee for the prerogative of mercy, and would also appeal on the judgment.
It will be recalled that the convicts were accused of murdering one Blessing Eze, a sex worker who they lured, murdered and dumped the corpse around DMGS axis in Onitsha.