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Murder: You Must Be Hanged Till Confirmed Dead, Court Tells Cameroonian House Help

By Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos 

A Cameroonian house help, Leudjou Koyemen Joel, alias William Smith, was on Tuesday ordered to be hanged to death by hanging over his involvement in the murder of Dayo Enioluwa Adeleke. 

The deceased was murdered on December 20, 2016 by the house help, according to a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, Nigeria.

The court presided over by Justice Adedayo Akintoye arrived at the decision after convicting Joel for the murder of Adeleke.

The conviction and subsequent sentence came after nearly two years of trial.

It would be recalled that Joel had pleaded not guilty to a count charge of murder. 

In his testimony before the judge, Joel had insisted that Adeleke mistakenly stabbed herself after she fell while she was pursuing him with a kitchen knife.

However delivering her judgment, Justice Akintoye held that, “All the evidence points to the defendant. I find merit in the prosecution's case." 

The 25-year-old condemned house help was first brought before Chief Magistrate Oluyemisi Adelaja of an Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrates' Court, Lagos, on December 30, 2016.

Consequent upon his (Joel) remand, the matter was transferred to the High Court where Joel was arraigned on January 19, 2017 on a count charge of murder, in accordance with Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. 

In addressing the court, the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, posited that the defendant committed the offence on December 20 at about 9.30p.m. 

The AG further explained that on the morning of the incident, Joel had made a request for a two-week salary advance, but that same was turned down by the deceased Adeleke.

According to the AG, “Later that night, and shortly after Adeleke got back from work, Joel repeated his demand. 

“Again, she declined.

“He got angry and stabbed Adeleke, daughter of the late Brigadier General Adekola Alfred Adeleke, in the neck and heart. 

“He was apprehended at the gate of the deceased's Park View Estate, Ikoyi, while attempting to flee. 

“The victim was found lying on the floor of her living room in a pool of blood. 

“A kitchen knife was found stuck in the left side of her chest. 

“She was rushed to St. Nicholas Hospital on Lagos Island, where a doctor on duty confirmed her dead.

“Adeleke was killed seven months after Joel was employed and exactly three months after her engagement to her fiancée.” 

The condemned Joel who opened his defence on November 21, 2018, denied killing Adeleke, while speaking  through a French translator. 

While being led in evidence by his lawyer, Joel confirmed that before the incident, he had  approached his boss twice to pay him part of his salary as his child was very ill in Cameroon and he needed money for hospital bills.

Joel argued that the first time he asked for part payment of his salary was on December 16, then the second time was on December 18, two days before Adeleke was murdered. 

The convicted Joel insisted that on the day under review, and after cleaning her apartment, he knelt down and pleaded with her to give him a loan, "but that she became upset suddenly and started shouting and screaming at me, so I thought that it was the situation in her office that was making her shout." 

The condemned Joel notified Justice Akintoye that Adeleke suddenly stood up and began to speak in a language he did not understand, but that from the look on her face, he knew that she was very furious. 

The convict further claimed that his employer pushed him and he fell, and that she started beating him on his head, so he closed his eyes.

According to Joel, “I was perceiving smell of alcohol. 

“When I opened my eyes, I saw her with a knife, then I tried to run away. 

“But she was rushing towards me.

“When I got to the entrance door, I noticed that she was no longer running after me but kept screaming. 

“When I turned, I saw that she fell on the floor, with the knife in her chest.”

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