Prosecutor opposes no case submission by couple who allegedly killed their maid

Ogunsakin Mustapha
4 Min Read

The circumstances that surrounded the death of a housemaid, Joy Adole again came to the fore at an Ikeja High Court on Wednesday as prosecutors queried how the deceased died at the home of her employers, Fortune and Stephen Nwankwo.

Responding to the no case submission filed by the defendants, lead Prosecutor, Yusuf Sule believes that the circumstantial evidence before the court will prove that the defendants are not innocent of the deceased death.

The couple face a four- count charge of conspiracy, involuntary manslaughter and accessory after the fact to murder over their housemaid’s death.

“The deceased lived with the defendants and they (defendants) are the elders in the house.The medical report did not state that deceased did not die from being hung from the ceiling. It stated that because the body had been embalmed, a cause of death was not certain. However, the same medical report said that she did not die of suicide,” Sule said.

The prosecutor noted that Supreme Court has decided that in instances where medical reports have not been provided, a cause of death can be proved from circumstantial evidence.

He said that the concern of the court should be whether there are little questions that need answers regarding the death of the deceased.

“Who were the last people to see the deceased? We urge the court to discountenance the no-case submission of the defendants and ask them to open their defence.

“They have to tell this court what happened to the deceased, why was she hung when the medical report did not state she committed suicide?

“The picture tendered as evidence shows that her legs were on the ground meaning that she could not have committed suicide and still be on the ground.

“The medical report also states there were no injuries on her neck to prove that she committed suicide. All these things need answers which they have not provided,” Sule said.

Earlier, the defence counsel, Prof Paul Ananaba (SAN) while addressing the court said that the Directorate of Public Prosecution’s advice in the case stated that no case of murder had been established.

Ananaba accused the state of presenting hearsay evidence in their case against the couple.

“The state went ahead and brought charges of manslaughter.The prosecution kept filing gaps in their evidence.

“What the prosecution have been giving has been hearsay.The prosecution began to rewrite the law contrary to express constitutional provisions and Supreme Court decisions.

“Until the prosecution has been able to prove the offences they brought them to court for, then we will respond.

“I urge your lordship to uphold this no-case submission,” Ananaba said.

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

The Nwankwos deny the manslaughter of Adole. They claim that she committed suicide by hanging herself in her bedroom.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala adjourned the case until Nov. 24 for ruling on the no-case submission.

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