Justice Adedayo Akintoye of a Lagos High Court yesterday sentenced to death by hanging a 25-year-old Cameroonian house help, Leudjou Koyemen Joel aka William Smith, for murder.
Joel was found guilty of killing Dayo Enioluwa Adeleke, the daughter of the late Brigadier General Adekola Alfred Adeleke.
The judge convicted Joel, after standing trial for nearly 48 months on a one-count charge of murder slammed on him by the Lagos State government.
Adeleke was killed seven months after Joel was employed and three months after her engagement to her fiancé.
The judge while pronouncing judgement said: “All the evidence points to the defendant. I find merit in the prosecution’s case.”
Joel was first charged for the offence before Chief Magistrate Oluyemisi Adelaja of an Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, on December 30, 2016.
Following his remand, the case was transferred to the High Court where he was subsequently arraigned on January 19, 2017 on a one-count charge of murder, in accordance with Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Lagos State attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Adeniji Kazeem (SAN), told Justice Akintoye that the defendant committed the offence on December 20, 2016 about 9.30p.m.
He said on the morning of the incident, Joel requested for a two-week salary advance, but Adeleke turned it down.
Later that night, shortly after Adeleke got back from work, Joel repeated his demand.
Again she declined.
He got angry and stabbed 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 court heard that 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.
However, the defendant, a refugee from Cameroon, had testified that Adeleke mistakenly stabbed herself after she fell while she was pursuing him with a kitchen knife.
The convict who spoke through an interpreter while opening his defence on November 21, 2018, denied killing Adeleke.
Led in evidence by his counsel, Mr. C. Acnonye, the convict confirmed that before the incident, he 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.
He said the first time he asked for part payment of his salary was on December 16; the second time was on December 18, two days before Adeleke was killed.
Joel added that on the day of the incident, 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”.
He added that Adeleke suddenly stood up and began speaking a language he did not understand, but that from the look on her face, he knew that she was very furious.
The defendant claimed that the deceased pushed him and started beating him on his head while he closed his eyes.
“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,” he said.