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Two Nigerians sentenced to death

Jun 27, 2012, 2:52 PM | Article By: Malamin L.M Conteh

Two Nigerian nationals, Michael Funaya Chukuibuikem and Stanley Agboeze Ugochukwu, have been sentenced to death by hanging, after they were convicted by the Special Criminal Court.
A third accused person, Collins Chijioke, was acquitted and discharged.
The accused persons were first arraigned at the lower court in Kanifing and charged with four counts of conspiracy to murder, kidnapping or abducting in order to murder, murder and robbery with violence.
According to the particulars of offence on count one, on 13 May 2012, at Bakoteh Junction Bar in the Kanifing Municipality, they jointly conspired to commit a felony, and murdered one Ian Stokes, a British national.
Count two stated that they jointly kidnapped or wrongfully confined Ian Stokes, a British national, in his house with intent to cause danger to him.
The charge sheet on count three read that they murdered or caused the death of Ian Stokes by stabbing him all over his body.
Furthermore, count four stated that they jointly robbed Ian Stokes of his mobile phone, whose value is unknown, and immediately before taking the said mobile phone, used actual violence by stabbing him all over his body.
Justice Emmanuel Nkea in his judgment stated that the convicted persons were charged with the murder of one Ian Stokes, a British national, on 13 May 2012 at Bakoteh Junction Bar.
He added that the prosecution paraded nine witnesses in support of their case and tendered several exhibits, while the convicted persons testified without calling additional witnesses.
It was the evidence of the 1st accused person that he saw a huge amount of money in the safe of the deceased, Ian Stokes, and later decided to rob the deceased and told this to the 2nd accused who later agreed to do so, the judge said.
“The 1st accused led the operation to rob the deceased, and later proposed a gold business to the deceased,” the judge said, adding that the 2nd accused assisted the 1st accused by holding the deceased by his neck at the back, while he was sitting at the back passenger seat.
 “The 1st accused stabbed him repeatedly until the deceased was silent,” Justice Nkea continued.
Justice Nkea went on to state that the two convicted persons were arrested at Barra with the assistance of PW1, while trying to leave the country, even though they continued to deny killing the deceased person.
He added that in order to sustain a conviction in a murder trial, certain elements must be established: that the accused caused the death of the deceased; the deceased was dead, and the accused participated in the killing of the deceased.
 It was not in dispute, the judge said, that Ian Stokes died, adding that in his view the death was clear, as the prosecution did establish that the death of Ian Stokes was not natural and was unlawful.
The prosecution had proven its case beyond all reasonable doubts, and the nature of the offence was serious and the weapon used was also serious, he continued.
Justice Nkea said the injuries inflicted on the deceased person were serious, adding that the 1st and 2nd accused had a common intention, and both participated in the killing of Ian Stokes.
He added that he did not see the 3rd accused as a perpetrator of the offence, and there was no evidence to show that the 3rd accused participated in the killing of Ian Stokes.
There was no evidence to show that he knew why he was called to bring the fuel to the 1st and 2nd accused persons, he said.
Justice Nkea further stated that the prosecution had led compelling and credible evidence against the 1st and 2nd convicted persons, which linked them to the charge, and that the 1st and 2nd accused persons were not witnesses of truth.
In passing sentence, the judge noted that the convicted persons were not remorseful to the court.
He added that the manner in which the deceased person was killed was brutal, and the law would not permit him to have mercy on them.