Eleven Years After Sentence, Man Saved From The Hangman’s Noose | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Eleven Years After Sentence, Man Saved From The Hangman’s Noose

Posted: Jul 16, 2016 at 3:34 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwudi Nweje


Eleven years after one Mr. Ganiyu Wahab, was sentenced to death, the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on July 13, 2016, set aside his conviction and sentence to death and saved him from the hangman’s noose that dangled over his head.

Mr. Wahab was arrested on January 23, 2005 on allegation of murder of one Kolawole Lateef Alaran, who he was said to have stabbed to death with a broken bottle. The incident was said to have taken place at the Agboyi area of Lagos State.

Wahab was arraigned at a Lagos State High Court, presided over by Honorable Justice Oluwayemi and sentenced to death on July 2, 2007.

His legal team with assistance from the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) filed an appeal at the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal.

Eleven years after, the conviction and sentence to death, the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has discharged and acquitted Wahab.

A panel of the court presided over by Honourable Justice Abimbola Osarugue Obaseki- Adejum, unanimously allowed the appeal of Wahab and set aside his conviction and sentence to death.

The court in considering the appeal resolved all issues raised in favour of the Appellant.

in its decision, said that the conviction of Wahab on the evidence of the 1st Prosecution Witness who was the only eyewitness called and the confessional statement of the Appellant was erroneous as both evidences contained different facts.

The court further held that the Prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Chino Obiagwu, counsel to Wahab said the judgement of the Court of Appeal “is another opportunity to reiterate our calls for an in-depth re-evaluation and urgent overhauling of our Criminal Justice System, especially as it relates to the use of capital punishment.

“We cannot continue sentencing innocent persons to death, only for the appeal court to upturn the judgment after a decade or more,” he said.

Mrs Aladesanmi Joke, in a statement issued on behalf of LEDAP called on Nigerians and “the Nigerian government to reconsider its stand on the use of capital punishment by abolishing the use of death penalty and replacing same with life imprisonment.”

LEDAP is a non-profit membership organisation engaged in the legal promotion and protection of human rights, good governance and the rule of law in Nigeria.

It has observer status with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.