WOMAN SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS IMPRISONMENT, FOR KILLING HER HUSBAND
Report filed by Femi Aborishade for Arise women has it that, Hon. Justice Munta Ladipo Abimbola, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, has today, 27th November 2017, in Ibadan, South West Nigeria, sentenced Yewande Oyediran to 7 years imprisonment for killing her late husband. The sentence is to run from the date of her arrest and detention, i.e., 2nd February 2017. This sentence was contained in the Judgment delivered in the case of State v. Yewande Oyediran in Charge No. I/11c/2016 in which the defendant was charged with a one count charge of "killing one Oyelowo Oyediran by stabbing with a knife" and therefore committing an offence contrary to section 316, which is punishable under section 319 of the Criminal Code Law, CAP. 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.
The Hon. Court found and held that the fact of the death of the deceased, Oyelowo Oyediran, was not in dispute by both the Prosecution and the Defence, that the nature of the death was not Natural in that the deceased’s death was caused by injuries sustained in the neck from a sharp object used to stab him and that the failure of the prosecution to produce the exact knife used to stab the deceased is of no moment.
The court rejected the suggestion by the Defence that it was a third party, PW4, the Landlord of the deceased and the defendant that stabbed the deceased. The court found and held that the testimony of the defendant in the court, in this regard, is materially different from her statement to the Police. Whereas no third party was mentioned in the Defendant’s statement to the Police, it was only in the court that the possibility of a third party was introduced to the scene of the struggle over the knife with the deceased.
The court thus held that it rejected the rebuttal of the deceased accidentally stabbing himself or being stabbed by a third party. To the court, such is "a ridiculous and monstrous suggestion".
Whilst rejecting the evidence of the defence, the court held that it believed the evidence of the Prosecution as presented by Prosecution Witnesses Nos. 4 and No. 5 (PW4 and PW5), that is, the Landlord and Landlady of both the defendant and the deceased. According to the court, based on the evidence before the court, the assailant of the deceased when he was crying for help was the defendant. Relying on appellate authorities, the court held that it could act on circumstantial evidence and come to the irresistible conclusion that the defendant killed the deceased, but not in a premeditated context. The defendant was thus convicted of manslaughter.
In his allocutory plea for mercy, the lead defence counsel, Leye Adepoju, Esq., urged the court to consider the facts that the defendant is a legal practitioner who has no criminal record and the killing of the deceased was not intentional. He concluded by urging the court to consider elements of correctional institutions and/or community service in sentencing the defendant.
After the plea for mercy, the Court sentenced the defendant to seven (7) years imprisonment, with effect from the date of arrest and detention.
From the judgment delivered in this case, there is no doubt that the Hon. Justice Munta Ladipo Abimbola, the Chief Judge of Oyo State has demonstrated three key characteristics needed in building a sane society based on the rule of law. The Hon. Justice Munta Ladipo Abimbola has demonstrated a deep knowledge of the law, the courage to apply the law and a milk of compassion and mercy in the dispensation of justice. No doubt, the goal of Women Arise in initiating the campaign for "Justice for Lowo!" has been achieved in the judgment of His Lordship, Hon. Justice Munta Ladipo Abimbola, the Chief Judge of Oyo State.