• Life
  • Updated: February 20, 2021

Popular Nigerian Court Cases With Happy Endings (Justice served)

Popular Nigerian Court Cases With Happy Endings (Justice ser

There is no doubt that the confidence of Nigerians in its justice system has dwindled.The reason is largely attributed to the delayed litigation process among other factors. The stories below have been compiled to revive the hopes of Nigerians, that court cases do have happy endings, regardless of delay.

58-year-old man sentenced to 60 years imprisonment for defiling a 12-year-old
Sometime in 2017, one Cobina Iziejen was accused of defiling a 12-year-old, around Orimedu Town, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, to which he pleaded guilty.

He was arrested and arraigned alongside two others on three counts of defilement of a child.

A judge of the Lagos State’s Sexual Offences & Domestic Violence Court convicted Iziejen, in view of his plea of guilt and facts presented by the prosecutor. He was sentenced to 60 Years imprisonment.

Serial killer sentenced to death in Port Harcourt

In 2019, the story of Gracious David-West, a 40-year-old serial killer of nine women caused a lot of outrage in Nigeria. 

David-West, in his confessional statement, claimed that he had "an irresistible urge to kill" and that between July and September 2019, he hunted the streets for women. He would then proceed with his victims to a hotel where he would dine and have sex with them, before going to bed. In the middle of the night, he would wake them up, threaten and kill them before carting away with their ATM cards and other valuables. Victims were often found naked, strangled, and bound with strips of cloth.

He was finally arrested on September 19, 2019, with another victim who was fortunate to escape being murdered. David-West was charged for murder and attempted murder.

At the end of the trial, the presiding judge of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Justice Adolphus Enebeli,  found David-West guilty of murder and attempted murder in October 2020, and he was sentenced to death by hanging.

Killer of Jumia Dispatch Rider sentenced to death by hanging or firing Squad

One Sodienyem Mbatumukeke was alleged to have murdered a Jumia dispatch rider about four years ago in Port Harcourt. The rider in the course of his work went to Mbatumukeke’s house to make delivery of some valuable items. A few days later, his remains were discovered in a septic tank within the premises where he had gone to make delivery. Upon the discovery (in Mbatumukeke's house), Mbatumukeke was arrested and charged for the murder.

The court found Mbatumukeke guilty as charged, and he was sentenced to death by hanging or by firing squad.

The age-long Igbo custom preventing a female child from Inheriting was voided by the court in the case of Ukeje v. Ukeje (2014)

This is one of the celebrated cases in Nigeria that eliminated discrimination against female children getting their share of inheritance. 

Upon the death of a man who died without a will, his wife and sons obtained letters of administration for his estate. The letter of administration however excluded the daughter from inheriting from her late father's estate because she was female.

The lady in question filed an action in court to claim her rights. The Court held that no matter the circumstances of the birth of a female child, she is entitled to an inheritance from her late father’s estate.

The court further held that the Igbo customary law which disentitles a female child from participating in her deceased father’s estate is in breach of sections 42(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution. The said discriminatory customary law was therefore declared void as it conflicts with a constitutional provision.

Rapist of Unilag students sentenced to 50 years imprisonment

One John Otema, aged 34, an alumnus of Unilag, a quantity surveyor and facilities manager, was charged before Justice Abiola Soladoye with three counts of rape and assault occasioning harm to two female students of the University of Lagos.

He was found guilty on two counts of rape and assault occasioning harm in respect of the rape of a 19-year-old student (name withheld) and was found not guilty for the charge of raping the 20-year-old student (name withheld) of the institution.

An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, on Monday, sentenced John Otema to 50-years imprisonment for rape and three-years in prison for the assault on the 20-year-old student with both sentences to run concurrently.

Police officer's wife sentenced to prison over child abuse

Mrs. Precious Joseph, the wife of a police officer, was arrested and charged for abusing her 9-year-old house help, Agatha Emmanuel.

Reports revealed that the case of child abuse was reported at the Police Station by a good Samaritan neighbor who saw the deep injury on Agatha’s mouth and upon inquiry, she said had told him that her aunt inflicted it on her.

Investigation showed that the victim incurred the wrath of  Mrs. Joseph after she allegedly disobeyed a directive that she (victim) should not scoop meat from the pot whenever she is eating.

Mrs. Josheph was charged for an offense punishable under Section 355 of the Criminal Code Law of Delta State (2006).

Upon conclusion of the hearing, the Court sentenced her to two years in prison without an option of a fine for abusing the victim, and inflicting bodily injuries on her.

Former Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, Sentenced to 10 years imprisonment

Joshua Dariye was a governor of Plateau State from 1999 until 2007. He was subsequently a Senator representing Plateau Central. 

While he was governor, Dariye was arrested in London on January 20, 2004, with large sums of money. Due to the immunity from criminal prosecution as a Serving governor, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had to wait till 2007 when his tenure in office would end to charge him to court for money laundering. He was accused of stealing about $9m of public funds and of money laundering.

He was found guilty of 15 out of the 23-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him. The court was satisfied that Dariye, being a public officer had full control over the ecological funds the Federal Government released to Plateau State in 2001 which he converted and diverted for his personal use.

On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for criminal breach of trust and two years for misappropriation of public funds with both to run concurrently. 

He filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal challenging his sentence. On November 16, 2018, the sentence was reduced from 14 years to 10 years imprisonment for criminal breach of trust, while the sentence for misappropriation was reduced to a year. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Reverend King sentenced to death by hanging
Reverend King

The founder of the Christian Praying Assembly, Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, popularly known as "Reverend King" was arraigned on September 26, 2006, on six counts of attempted murder and murder before Justice Oyewole of Lagos State High Court, Ikeja.

He had been arrested for the murder of one of his church members, Ann Uzoh. He pleaded not guilty to the charges but was convicted and sentenced on January 11, 2007, to 20 years imprisonment for attempted murder, and death by hanging, for murder.

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