Housemaid’s Death: Lagos govt questions evidence provided by couple

The prosecution team of the Lagos State Government on Wednesday at an Ikeja High Court again raised questions over the circumstances surrounding the death of a housemaid, Joy Adole, in her employer’s home.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lead state prosecutor, Yusuf Sule, queried Ms Adole’s demise while responding to a no case-submission filed by the deceased’s employers, Fortune and Stephen Nwankwo.

The couple face a four-count charge of conspiracy, involuntary manslaughter and accessory after the fact to the housemaid murder.

Mr Sule, in his submission, said the circumstantial evidence presented to the court by the prosecution would prove that the defendants killed the deceased.

“The deceased stays with the defendants and the two defendants are the elders in the house.

“The medical report did not state that the deceased did not die from being hung from the ceiling. It stated that because the body had been embalmed, a cause of death was not certain.

“However, the same medical report said that she did not die of suicide,” Mr Sule said.

The prosecutor noted that the Supreme Court has decided that in instances where medical reports have not been provided, a cause of death can be proved from circumstantial evidence.

He said the concern of the court should be whether there were questions that needed answers regarding the death of the housemaid.

“Who were the last people to see the deceased? We urge the court to discountenance the no-case submission of the defendants and ask them to open their defence.

“They have to tell this court what happened to the deceased, why was she hung when the medical report did not state she committed suicide?

“The picture tendered as evidence shows that her legs were on the ground meaning that she could not have committed suicide and still be on the ground.

“The medical report also states there were no injuries on her neck to prove that she committed suicide. All these things need answers which they have not provided,” Mr Sule said.

Earlier, the defence counsel, Paul Ananaba (SAN) while addressing the court said the Directorate of Public Prosecution’s advice in the case stated that no case of murder had been established.

Mr Ananaba accused the state of presenting hearsay evidence in their case against the couple.

“The state went ahead and brought charges of manslaughter. The prosecution kept filling gaps in their evidence.

“What the prosecution has been giving has been hearsay. The prosecution began to rewrite the law contrary to expressed constitutional provisions and Supreme Court decisions.

“Until the prosecution has been able to prove the offences they brought them to court for, then we will respond.

“I urge your lordship to uphold this no-case submission,” Mr Ananaba said.

The Nwankwos have been accused of killing 19-year-old Adole on April 20, 2020 at their residence located at No. 18, Ogundola St., Bariga, Lagos.

The Nwankwos deny the manslaughter of Adole and claimed that she committed suicide “by hanging herself in her bedroom”.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala adjourned the case till November 24 for ruling on the no-case submission. (NAN)


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