Suspected serial killer, Gracious David West, denies murder charges against him

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Tina Amanda

Suspected serial killer, Gracious David West, has opened his defence at a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, after the prosecution closed their case with a total of eight witnesses.

Testifying before Justice Adolphus Enebeli, Gracious West, the 1st Defendant in the matter, denied the ten-count charge of murder and attempted murder against him, saying that he is a technician who is into phones and computers repair.

Gracious West also denied knowing Sergeant Ogbomudia Egbomukuro, a Police Investigating Officer attached to SARS who was among the Officers that arrested the suspect on his way to Akwa Ibom State.

West further said that the sixty thousand naira collected from him by the police, as at the time of his arrest in Bori-Nonwa Road, was the share he got from his father’s property located at 48 Evo Road, GRA, Port Harcourt.

The presiding Judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli adjourned to 21st February for continuation of cross examination of the defence witnesses.

Chidi Ekeh, the Prosecution Counsel, told our correspondent that the 1st Defendant, Gracious David West, denying knowledge of Sergeant Ogbomudia Egbomukuro is immaterial, adding that police work as a team.

“We called a total of eight witnesses, the last was one of the Police Investigating Officer who testified on behalf of the Prosecution on their findings in the cause of investigation. Police is a team. You can be arrested by one Officer and another takes over. The 1st Defendant did not deny that he was not arrested by the police, but denied a particular person arresting him and of what effect is that?

“That same Officer by name Sergeant Ogbomudia Egbomukuro the 1st accused is denying knowledge of is the same person who recorded his statement. The Sergeant’s name is also in the accused’s statement, meaning the Officer is part of the Investigating team”

On his part, Vincent Chuku, Counsel to Gracious David West, said the Defence is not worried whether the 1st Defendant pleaded guilty or not, as it is left for the court to prove his client’s guilt, while claiming that the police Sergeant did not arrest Gracious West.

“It is a material evidence which we must find out. Sergeant Ogbomudia Egbomukuro in his evidence in court said he belongs to SARS Rukpokwu. So how he was posted to Bori Road for the purpose of the arrest of the 1st Defendant is what we the Defence must know. We are not saying Gracious West was not arrested by the police, we are insisting that the Sergeant Ogbomudia was not among the Officers that arrested my client at Bori-Nonwa.

“Sometimes, the Defendant may not know the consequence of pleading guilty or not guilty. What we are dealing with here is a capital offence matter and the punishment is death. Even if the accused pleads guilty, he will not be presumed guilty, the court will still go on to review the evidence and find out irresistible facts that actually prove he is guilty, that is the law. That proceeding whether Gracious West is guilty or not is not before the court any longer, because the Prosecution amended their charges and what is the issue now, is the present proceeding that is going on”