A 26-year-old man, Anuoluwapo Samuel, was on Monday sentenced to death by an Ikeja High Court for killing his friend during a brawl after a drinking binge.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Samuel was found guilty of a count of murder by Justice Raliatu Adebiyi.
“The defendant, Anuoluwapo Samuel is hereby sentenced to death in accordance with Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
“May the Lord have mercy on your soul,” Mrs. Adebiyi said.
The judge ruled that prosecution had established the ingredients necessary to secure a murder conviction.
“The defendant from the facts of the case did not set out to kill the deceased but he must have known that the machete wound he inflicted caused a grievous bodily harm.
“The defendant left the scene of the fight to fetch a machete. That action was a proof of his intent to inflict the maximum injury on the deceased.”
Adebiyi faulted the claim of self-defence claimed by Samuel during his trial.
“When the defendant faced what he said was a fear for his life, he crossed the road, went to his home to pick a machete.
“The spontaneous reaction to an immediate threat is to pick up the nearest weapon to defend himself or to flee.
“The defendant by his action failed to prove the ground of self-defence,” Mrs. Adebiyi said.
In her allocutus, counsel to Mr. Samuel, Y.A. Ajayi, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
“The defendant is a young man, who has many years ahead of him; we plead that my Lord should temper justice with mercy.
“He did not try to withhold facts from the court, he was remorseful and was weeping uncontrollably during his testimony,” she said.
Immediately after the sentence was read, Samuel who was in the dock broke down in tears while a female family member was crying and wailing so loudly that the court had to go on a short recess.
According to the prosecution, led by Akin George, the convict committed the offence on May 2, 2012 at Oke-Afa Secondary School at Badagry, near Lagos.
“The convict and the deceased, John Omobere, were involved in a drunken fight after drinking locally-made gin.
“The fight was allegedly instigated by a third friend who goes by the name ‘Lampard’, the convict was allegedly stabbed by the deceased with a broken bottle.
“After the convict was stabbed, he ran to his house to get a machete and inflicted deep cuts in his right arm.
“The deceased did not die at the scene but at his home, the autopsy established that he died of haemorrhagic shock and severe lacerations on his right hand,” Mr. George said.
The prosecutor said that the deceased was discovered the next day lying dead in a pool of blood in his home by members of his family.