A Lagos State High Court, in Ikeja sentenced 32-year-old carpenter, Onyekachi Agu, to seven years imprisonment on Wednesday for pouring acid on his ex-girlfriend and his rival.
Justice Oyindamola Ogala handed down the judgement following successful prosecution of a one-count charge of causing grievous bodily harm to two persons, Mansur Ahmed and Aishat Adefarati in 2020.
According to the State prosecutor, Uju Uwangaze, the defendant committed the offence on July 3, at Gangare Hotel, Mile 12, Lagos.
The defendant had traced the victims to an hotel and poured acid on them.
The offence contravened the provisions of Section 245 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Justice Ogala, having found the defendant guilty, on the premise of his confessional statement sentenced him accordingly.
According to the judge the confession is consistent and supported with other evidence, which she held that the accuse may be convicted on the basis of confessional statement.
Justice Ogala while pronouncing the judgement said, “Onyekachi Agu, the court has found you guilty of one-count charge, do you have anything to say before I sentence you?”
The defendant remained silent when the sentence was pronounced on him before a crowded courtroom.
Trouble began for the convict following a rocky relationship between the defendant and his ex-girlfriend.
The defendant disclosed in his testimony that his girlfriend had got pregnant for him and aborted it.
While the lady was said to have testified that the defendant was in the habit of harassing her which led to their separation after three years of relationship.
The court held that retraction of the defendant’s confession was meant to deceive the court, having pleaded guilty at his arraignment before a lower court.
Justice Ogala noted that the victim, the PW2 Mansur Ahmed suffered serious bodily harm affecting his face, eye, neck and even the money in his pocket.
The prosecution held that the scar on the arm of the defendant was sustained during the attack on the victims, when he poured acid on the victims through the hotel’s window.
The Investigation Police Officer who was Prosecution Witness, PW4, testified during the trial, submitted during cross examination that though PW 1 and PW2 did not see the person that poured the acid, but suspected the defendant because he has been attacking and harassing them prior to the acid bath.
The defendant did not present any evidence of alibi to testify, the court held. Following the conviction, the Defence Counsel, from the Office of Public Defence, U.E Omolola pleaded with the judge to consider that the defendant is a young man.
According to her, “I’m sure he has learned his lesson.”
Before handing down a jail term, the judge asked the victim present in court to step forward and asked him, “Have you been able to get further treatment for your self?
He replied in the negative.
When the defendant finally found his voice, Onyekachi said, “I want to tell the court that it should have mercy on me and I’m sorry, the judge interjected and said, “There is nothing wrong with me.”
The convict subsequently faced Ahmed, and said “I’m sorry sir.”
Thereafter, she ruled in accordance with Section 245 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015, which stipulated seven years of conviction for causing bodily harm to anyone.
According to her, “The defendant is hereby sentenced to imprisonment of seven years with hard labour and the sentence is to run concurrently.”