The Lagos State High Court has discharged and acquitted a housewife, Mary Alilu, accused of killing her husband, Kingsley Perewe.
Ms Alilu was arraigned on a count charge of inflicting a deep cut on her husband’s neck and head with a knife, causing his death.
The Lagos government arraigned her on November 12, 2018, and she spent four years in detention while undergoing trial.
However, Justice Modupe Nicol-Clay on Thursday acquitted the housewife of the charge of murder in suit number LD/5944C/17. Delivering judgment, Ms Nicol-Clay held that the defendant’s death was not in contention.
She, however, held that evidence of the first and second prosecution witnesses (PW1 and PW2) were contradictory; thus, “fatal to the case of the prosecution.”
The judge also held that the prosecution failed to link the alleged murder weapon with the defendant or the deceased. Ms Nicol-Clay also observed that although PW3, the investigative police officer, claimed that the defendant killed the deceased with a knife, the purported knife was not sent for forensic examination.
“The PW3 could not tell whether the blood was that of the deceased, and there was no nexus between the knife and the defendant. There is no direct evidence linking the defendant to the alleged crime,” explained the judge.
She added, “Evidence of the prosecution witnesses are not cogent and compelling enough; there is so much doubt in this case. As for the wounds on the deceased’s neck and head, there is no evidence that no other sharp object could have caused the injury on the deceased. The defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted.”
State counsels Adeshola Adekunle-Bello, and Titi Olanrewaju-Daudu said the death occurred on January 27, 2017, at 11:40 p.m. at No. 111, Abukuru St., Ajegunle, Lagos.
The prosecution had alleged that Ms Alilu killed Mr Perewe by cutting his neck and head with a knife.
Ms Alilu had pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution called three witnesses in the trial and urged the court to convict and sentence Ms Alilu. The defence also called three witnesses, including the defendant.
Defence counsel O. J. Akinwale raised two issues for determination – whether the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and whether exhibits tendered by the prosecution were admissible or ought to be expunged.
He has prayed the court to discharge and acquit the housewife.