A Lagos Division of the Lagos State High Court on Wednesday sentenced a 46-year-old man, Tunde Omisakin, to 12 years in prison for causing the death of his girlfriend.
Mr Omisakin was charged for cutting the right hand of his girlfriend, Tina Toroso, with a cutlass which resulted in her death.
He was first arraigned for manslaughter in 2010 and later re-arraigned on February 16, 2016, before Justice Adedayo Akintoye when the former judge handling the case retired.
He pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge and was remanded in prison.
Delivering judgment on Wednesday, the judge said the prosecution was able to prove the ingredients of manslaughter beyond every reasonable doubt.
She said the four prosecution witnesses clearly gave evidence establishing how the incident happened.
“The prosecution evidence directly pointed to the defendant as the person who caused the death of the deceased (Miss Toroso),” said the judge.
“The defendant did not deny that he cut her hand but said he did not intend to kill her. I hold that the ingredient of manslaughter has been proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt,” Mrs Akintoye said.
The judge disagreed with the defence lawyer’s position that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were contradictory and that those of the investigating police officers were merely hearsay.
“The evidence adduced by investigating officers during investigations cannot amount to hearsay,” the judge said.
“I hold that the evidence of the prosecution is consistent and therefore reliable.
“This court hereby finds Tunde Omisakin guilty of manslaughter and is duly convicted.
“He is sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, the years of remand will be deducted from his sentence,” she held.
The defence counsel, Grace Adenubi, a Legal Aid Counsel, had pleaded for the convict’s leniency, adding that he was a first-time offender and had been in custody since 2009 when he was arrested.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Abiodun Gbadamosi, had told the court that Mr Omisakin committed the offence on December 8, 2008, at 2.00 a.m., at his residence at Lamgbasa, Ajah area of Lagos.
She said that the defendant caused the death of Ms Toroso by cutting her right hand with a cutlass which severed her veins.
She said the offence contravened Section 317 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2003.