A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has fixed date for judgement in the murder and attempted murder trial of the alleged Serial Killer, Gracious David West.
The trial Judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli fixed October 9th for ruling after Counsels in the matter submitted their final written addresses.
In their submissions, Vincent Chuku, Counsel to the 1st Defendant, David West, prayed the court to discharge and acquit his client for the failure of the Prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
He argued that the Prosecuting witnesses could not prove to the court that the 1st Defendant actually murdered the nine ladies and attempted to murder another one in hotel rooms in Port Harcourt.
He submitted further that the Prosecution did not present the Makers of the autopsy reports tendered in court, neither was his client shown the acclaimed items recovered from hotel rooms belonging to the victims until the trial began.
Counsel to Nimi ThankGod, a 2nd Defendant in the case, prayed the court to discharge and acquit his client as Prosecution could not prove that the 2nd Defendant is guilty of the offence charged.
The State Prosecution Counsel, however, argued that the prosecution has beyond all reasonable doubts, proven its case through the CCTV footage that showed David-West lodging one of the deceased into a hotel, leaving her dead in the room.
He also submitted that they proved their case through the confessional statements made by the 1st Defendant to the Police, where he took the Nigerian Police to all the hotel rooms in which the ladies were killed.
He submitted that the 2nd Defendant admitted in court that the 1st Defendant lodged in her hotel with Benita Etim, one of the victims who survived the killing.
Gracious David-West’s counsel said the written address of the Prosecution was borne out of sheer sentiment.
“There are lots of lacuna in the proceedings lacking in evidence and its values. The Prosecution is only trying to whip-up sentiment in his final address and the Prosecution said a lot of things that the 2nd Defendant did not say.
” They failed to bring the medical pathologist who carried out the medical autopsy who is supposed to be cross-examined and cross-examination is the hallmark of proceedings in court”
Also speaking, Lezina Amegua, Counsel to the 2nd Defendant, Nimi ThankGod, prayed the court to do the most appropriate thing in the interest of justice to all.
“We rightly pointed out even in our submission that the Prosecution was not able to prove its case and for that reason, we prayed the court to discharge and acquit 2nd Defendant. We believe in the wisdom of the court and we are ready to also hold to the court position when that day comes”
On his part, State Prosecution Counsel Chidi Ekeh, prayed the court to convict the 1st and 2nd Defendants and impose the maximum sentence, as required by law.
“The court should believe our evidence and convict the 1st Defendant and if it does, it should impose the maximum sentence which is the sentence of death. With respect to the 2nd Defendant, hers will not be a sentence of death if she is found guilty, but two years imprisonment for the misconduct of dumping one of the victim’s body in a refuse dump along Aggrey Road, Port Harcourt.
“We have proved that certain people were dead, we have proved that the deaths did not occur naturally, we have also proved that their death came as a result of the act of the 1st Defendant, who in his own extra-judiciary statement confessed to the crimes”