Sunday, November 28, 2021

You have case to answer over death of housemaid, judge tells couple

The couple denies the manslaughter, claiming the maid committed suicide by hanging herself in her bedroom.

• November 24, 2021
Court room
Courtroom used to tell the story

A couple, Fortune and Stephen Nwankwo have been told by an Ikeja High Court that they have a case to answer over the death of their housemaid, Joy Adole.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala told the Nwankwos to open their defence while giving a ruling on the no-case submission they had filed before the court after the prosecution had closed its case against them.

“This court has carefully considered the position of the law and believes that the prosecution has established that there is a ground for further proceedings.

“The no-case submission cannot hold. Therefore, the defendants are now called to give evidence,” she said.

Addressing the court during proceedings held on October 11, lawyer to the Nwankwos, Paul Ananaba (SAN) had told the court that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions had been unable to establish a case of murder against the couple.

Mr Ananaba accused the state of presenting hearsay evidence in their case against the couple and had urged the court to uphold the no-case submission.

In his response, the state prosecutor, Yusuf Sule, raised questions over the circumstances surrounding the death of Ms Adole in the home of her employers.

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

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

They are accused of killing 19-year-old Joy Adole on April 20, 2020, at their residence located at No. 18, Ogundola St., Bariga, Lagos.

The couple denies the manslaughter of Ms Adole. They claim that she committed suicide by hanging herself in her bedroom.

Authorities, however, dispute the claim and allege that the position in which the hung corpse was found does not depict a suicide.

The case was adjourned until January 17 and 31 for defence.

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