A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, has sentenced a man, Sodienye Mbatumekeke, to death by hanging, over the murder of a Jumia delivery agent, Chukwuma Eleji.
The trial judge, Justice I. P. Chigoezi-Igwe, in his judgment, held that the prosecution team was able to prove their case and convince the court that Mbatumekeke committed the crime.
Justice Chigoezi-Igwe ruled that though the convict is rejecting the confessional and extra-judicial statements he made, “it is weighty enough to prove that he murdered the Jumia delivery agent.”
The judge also found him guilty of the second charge which is armed robbery just as he described the murder of the Jumia delivery agent as unlawful and gruesome.
The presiding judge said the sentence will serve as a deterrent to others.
Chigoezi-Igwe, however, discharged and acquitted the second defendant, Divine Naabe, of murder and robbery, saying there are doubts in the evidence provided by the prosecution team to find him guilty of committing the crime.
Counsel to the convict, Bonaventure Ugwu, faulted some of the basis for the conviction, insisting that they will appeal against the decision of the lower court.
Ibiene Mbano, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the state, told journalists that the judgment is a welcome development.
Mbatumekeke was said to have killed the Jumia agent in 2017, after he refused to pay for an iPhone he purchased on the basis of Pay-on-Delivery around Ada-George area of Port Harcourt, the state capital.