Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
A Rivers State High Court has sentenced the Port Harcourt serial killer, Gracious David-West, to death by hanging for the murders of nine young women.
David-West murdered his nine female victims and attempted to murder the tenth, Benita Etim, in different hotel rooms across Rivers State between July and September 2019.
When the convict was arrested and paraded by the police in September, 2019, he confessed to killing seven young women; one in Lagos; one in Owerri, Imo State; and five in Rivers State.
Delivering judgment on the convict yesterday, the trial judge, Mr. Justice Adolphus Enebeli, convicted the serial killer of the charges against him, saying that the convict be hanged by the neck till he was dead.
The second defendant in the case, Nimi ThankGod, a manager of one of the hotels in Port Harcourt where one of the victims was killed, was however acquitted and discharged by the court on grounds that the state prosecuting counsel failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence
ThankGod, who faced a one count charge bordering on misconduct with corpse, was accused of evacuating the corpse of one of the young females killed in her hotel room where she served as a manager and dumped the body at a dumpsite along Aggrey Road in Port Harcourt in August, 2019.
Counsel to David-West, Vincent Chukwu, had pleaded with the court for leniency on the grounds that his client was a father of three young children.
However, the state prosecuting counsel, Chidi Ekeh, said the first defendant (David-West) did not deserve any leniency as he did not show mercy to his victims and urged the court to ensure justice in the matter.
Speaking with journalists outside the courtroom, the lead state prosecuting counsel, Ekeh, said the judgment would serve as a deterrent to other persons with such intensions of crime, adding that the second defendant was let go because it was difficult to prove to the court that the accused committed the crime.
Ekeh said: “With respect to the second defendant, she escaped by the whiskers, not that the offence with which she was charged was not committed, but it was difficult to determine who exactly did it as the witnesses who would have ordinarily provided that answer suddenly disappeared from the state until date.
“I am happy that this judgment was given, it would serve as a deterrent to all such persons with such disposition who are always taking to crime to know that there are consequences.”