LAW: Nigeria Holds First Online Court Sitting In Lagos, Man Sentenced To Death For Murder

The first virtual court session, which held in Nigeria at Ikeja High Court in Lagos on Monday saw the sentencing to death of one Olalekan Hameed for a December 1, 2018 murder of Mrs Jolasun Okunsanya, 76, the mother of his employer, at the time. 

Participants from the bar included the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), the prosecutor, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, and some senior lawyers like Funke Adekoya SAN, Tayo Oyetibo SAN, Olukayode Enitan SAN, amongst others.

Delivering the judgment via video conferencing platform, Zoom, Justice Mojisola Dada said, “The sentence of this court upon you, Olalekan Hameed, is that you be hanged by the neck until you be pronounced dead and may the Lord have mercy upon your soul. This is the virtual judgment of the court.” 

The proceedings were approved by Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, in line with the Lagos State Judiciary Remote Hearing of Cases COVID-19 Pandemic Period Practice Direction.

Justice Dada conducted proceedings from High Court 10 in Ikeja, the defendant Hameed was at Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre, Apapa, while the counsels were at different locations.

Judicial Officers including Justice Alogba, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, Justice Josephine Oyefeso, Justice Sherifat Solebo, Justice Afeez Dabiri, Justice Roli Harriman, amongst others, also participated.

The court session for the charge marked ID/9006C/2019, held online via a video app Zoom. It began at 11am and ended before 2pm.

The judge, defendant, his team of counsel, the prosecution team led by Lagos State Solicitor-General Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey and all witnesses participetd in the session remotely from different locations via the Zoom app.

Hameed was arraigned on March 6, 2019 on a two-count charge of murder and stealing on Charge No. ID/9006C/2019, The Nation reports.

The court heard that he committed the offence at about 12:30pm at plot 83, Owukori Crescent, Alaka Estate, Surulere, Lagos.

He pleaded not guilty, following which trial commenced.

The prosecution called several witnesses and tendered exhibits including the coroner’s report, stolen N97, 500 and $117 recovered from the defendant and a confessional statement, among others.

“The only money I took was the N1, 000, any other money I don’t know about it. I did not kill Mrs Jolaso Ogunsanya,” Hakeem told the judge during the trial.

But Justice Dada noted that prosecution witnesses’ testimonies that Hakeem was the only one with the deceased at the time of death and he was also seen scaling the fence of the deceased’s building afterwards, among others, were not disproved.

BLOGARENA 2020….

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