Court Sentences Policeman Who Killed Kolade Johnson To Life Imprisonment

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Ogunyemi Olalekan, a dismissed police officer, was sentenced to life in prison for the death of Kolade Johnson, 35, by a Lagos state high court in Ikeja.

At a viewing center in the Mangoro neighborhood of Lagos, Olalekan, who was reportedly a member of the Special Anti-Cultism Squad (SACS) of the Nigerian Police, shot Mr. Johnson in the lower abdomen with an AK-47 rifle at around 5.10 p.m. on Sunday, March 31, 2019.

The crime violates Section 223 of the 2015 Lagos State Criminal Law.

Johnson, a football aficionado, was shot while watching Liverpool play Tottenham Hotspur on television.

Later, Olalekan, a fired police inspector, and Godwin Orji, a sergeant, were identified by the police as the shooters.

Following an orderly trial, Olalekan was dismissed from the force while Orji was acquitted. Olalekan was subsequently arraigned before the court for the extrajudicial killing of Johnson.

During the trial, the prosecution called seven witnesses, while the defence called two witnesses.

A pathologist, Oluwaseun Williams, who testified as the sixth prosecution witness, said Johnson suffered six gunshot injuries.

Williams, who is a consultant pathologist at the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, said he had practised pathology for 10 years and interpreted an autopsy report during the cross-examination.

“There were four injuries on the thigh, two injuries on the hands, one on the right hem-iscrotum (either half of a scrotum), one on the left hemi-scrotum,” he said. “The injury on the left hemi-scrotum was an abrasion which could be from anything and the second-hand injury was not related to injuries caused by gunshots. Six of the injuries were related to the penetrative missiles.

“The injuries on the thigh were through and through. There are features that are suggestive that they were caused by firearm missiles. We counted six injuries identified as firearm injuries. The anterior defects in the right hemi-scrotum and thigh had dark burn edges caused by something hot and penetrative at the same time which is suggestive of a bullet.”

The pathologist said a wound on the deceased’s left hand was a gunshot injury while the injury on the right hand was a laceration.

“In this case, the cause of death was gunshot injuries,” Williams told the court.

Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Adenike Coker held that the convict did not demonstrate an intention to kill the victim.

The court, therefore, found him guilty of manslaughter rather than murder.

Justice Coker further held that the convict would be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 25 years in prison.

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