An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday, sentenced a 23-year-old chef, Joshua Usulor, to 28-year imprisonment for killing a lawyer, Mrs. Feyisayo Obot.
Usulor murdered the 34-year-old mother of two on January 26, 2019, at the Citiheights Hotel, Opebi, Lagos State, where both of them lodged in different rooms
Obot, an employee of an Abuja-based non-governmental organisation, Save the Children, was in Lagos to write a project management examination.
The prosecution, led by Mrs O.A. Bajulaiye-Bishi, had said that Usulor, a resident of Number 30, Fadiya Street, Ketu, Lagos, sneaked into the deceased’s hotel room to steal her money and her phones in order to offset his outstanding hotel bill.
The suspect reportedly stabbed the victim with a sharp knife on the stomach before slitting her throat.
During interrogation, the suspect confessed to have committed the crime. He confessed to have robbed and killed the victim in order to raise money for his hotel bill having spent two days.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo sentenced Usulor after he approached the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for a plea bargain agreement in which he would plead guilty to the crime.
The DPP had in the agreement approved a term of 21-years imprisonment which would begin from the date of Usulor’s remand.
However, during Tuesday’s proceedings, the judge rejected the proposed prison term, saying that it was too lenient.
The judge said she would exercise the power conferred on her by Section 75 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law to increase the prison term to 30 years.
She eventually reduced Usulor’s prison sentence to 28 years following plea for leniency by his counsel, Mr. Spurgeon Ataene.
In the plea, Ataene told the court to temper justice with mercy. He submitted that Usulor was remorseful, adding that he was a young man with a promising future.
The prosecution was still presenting witnesses in the case when Usulor proposed a plea bargain agreement.
Prosecution witnesses who testified during the trial were – the hotel receptionist, Ms Lateefat Adebayo; the hotel’s Operations Manager, Mr Olabanji Ibitunde; brother of the deceased, Mr Ige Afolabi; and the Investigating Police Officer, Inspector John Babalola.
Usulor was arraigned on a count charge of murder contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.