The Lagos State Special Offences Court on Monday, sentenced a driver, Olalekan Hameed, to death for killing his employer’s 76-year-old mother, Jolasun Okunsanya.
The court session, which was held via a video app, Zoom, began around 11am and had all the relevant parties in attendance.
The judge, Justice Mojisola Dadadelivered the judgment in a virtual court session approved by the state Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, in line with the Lagos State Judiciary remote hearing of cases during COVID-19 pandemic period practice direction.
The 34-year-old Hameed was arraigned on two counts of stealing the sums of $117 and N950,000 from his employer’s room on December 1, 2018, and strangling the deceased after she caught him in the act of stealing.
According to the prosecution, the convict committed the offences around 12.30pm on Plot 83 Owukori Crescent, Alaka Estate, in the Surulere area of the state.
During the trial, the prosecution called several witnesses and tendered exhibits, including the coroner’s report, the recovered money and the convict’s statement to the police.
However, Hameed told the court that he only stole N1000 and had nothing to do with the victim’s death.
Justice Dada held that the witnesses’ claim that Hameed was the only one with the deceased at the time of death and that he was also seen scaling the fence of his employer’s house were not disproved.
She said, “It is also a fact that although the defendant went to the house of the employer to steal, the surprise of the deceased stumbling upon him led him to not just push the deceased, but strangle her in a bid to keep her from crying out.
“The case is clear. I have not found any contradiction with the evidence of the prosecution witness that can be deemed material or weighty enough to cast any doubt on the case of the prosecution against the defendant in this case. The facts of the case are incompatible with the innocence of the defendant, but rather, his guilt on the two counts.
“The defendant is hereby found guilty of the count two of murder and is hereby convicted as charged and accordingly sentenced to death.
“The sentence of this court upon you, Olalekan Hameed, is that you be hanged by the neck until you are pronounced dead; may the Lord have mercy upon your soul. This is the virtual judgment of the court.”