A 32-year-old man, Saheed Sanni, has been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment by a Lagos State High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) for stabbing one Jide Felix to death.
Saheed was arrested in December 2015 for stabbing Felix in the neck with a broken bottle during an argument at LUTH Junction in the Agege Motor Road area of Mushin. Sanni, who had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was first arraigned on January 18, 2021, later pleaded guilty to a one-count of involuntary manslaughter.
The prosecution counsel, Olayemi Shofolu, informed the court that the convict applied for a plea bargain to change his plea, adding that the prosecution had amended the charge. Subsequently, the presiding judge, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, asked Sanni about his awareness of the amended charge as well his voluntariness of the plea bargain, which he answered in the affirmative.
He was re-arraigned on the amended charge of involuntary manslaughter dated October 4, 2021.
His counsel, K.F. Balogun, had appealed to the court to temper justice with mercy as he, Sanni, deeply regrets his action.
“My lord, we are praying the court to temper justice with mercy. The defendant has since regretted his action; he is remorseful knowing the gravity of the offence. We sympathize with the family of the deceased. The defendant is a young man who has a lifetime ahead of him. He has lost his wife, father and mother while in prison.
“The defendant is 32 years old. He considered a plea bargain for restoring his life after serving the prison term. What the defendant did was youthful exuberance,” Balogun had told the court
Delivering her judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, held that the court was not bound by the plea bargain agreement and subsequently sentenced the convict to 18 years imprisonment starting from the date he was remanded.