Sunday, 3 February 2013

Death Sentence - Reverend King Heads for Supreme Court, As Appeal Fails.

A Lagos Court of Appeal, Lagos today affirmed the verdict of Lagos High Court which convicted and sentenced to death, the General overseer, Christian Praying Assembly, Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, also known as Reverend King.

But the controversial pastor through his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo said he would appeal the verdict at the Supreme Court.

In her verdict, Justice Fatima Akinbami said all the issue raised by the controversial pastor in his appeal failed at the higher court.

She punctured the dying declaration of Reverend King, saying such cannot be admitted as a dying declaration, since there was no immediate apprehension or fear of approaching death.

She also punctured the appellant counsel's position that the evidence of prosecution witness was colored and so inadmissible without corroboration.

She held that "Even the evidence of a tainted witness is admissible once it is material to the case. A tainted witness is one who may not be an accomplice, but whose evidence may be admissible without the neccessity of administering any special warning.

"The prosecution witness in this case is an eye witness and so the evidence is material to the case," she said.

Akinbami held on the issue of corroboration and evaluation of the evidence by the trial judge, She said that all evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses, were unanimous,adding that they all pointed to the fact that the appellant actually used a matches and petrol to set the deceased ablaze.

"Each of the prosecution witness gave evidence as to how the victim was beaten and burnt by the appellant.

"To my mind, there is no contradiction whatsoever and even if there were, it is immaterial, since all the witnesses are unanimous" she said.

According to her, the trial judge was free to write his judgment in his own style, if it sets out the issue for determination, shows a clear understanding of the facts as stated and arrives at a logical conclusion....

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