A Court of Appeal sitting in Cross River State Nigeria, has upheld death sentence by hanging given to a former employee of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Godwin Elewana, for murder.
On March 10, 2015, Godwin Elewana, shot and killed Douglas Ojugbo – a 22-year-old boy whom he suspected was having an affair with his daughter, Mercy. The case was then taken to a Federal high court, and the court ruled on March 21, 2018 that Elewana should be put to death by hanging.
Afraid of death, he approached the Court of Appeal in Calabar in suit Number CA/C/278C/2018.
Justice Y. Ninpar who delivered the judgment on behalf of three other judges of the Appeal Court, said, “The court, having gone through all the evidence and addresses by counsels for both parties, finds the judgement of the lower court credible and therefore valid before the law.”
The presiding judge of the High Court in Calabar, Justice Ukpa Ebitam, had said in his ruling said:
“The prosecution team also proved the second ingredient of the murder, which was the intentional act. To have fired the victim twice with his pump action gun, I agree that the killing was intentional and I hereby find the accused person guilty of murder.
“Subject to Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Cross River State, any person who commits murder is sentenced to death by hanging.”
When the High court passed the initial judgment in 2018, the mother of the deceased, Maria Ojugbo, said:
“I thank God for doing what should be done. It is stated in the Bible that anyone who kills by the sword, will die by the sword. Elewana had no reason whatsoever to kill my son in such a manner and conceal the act by burying him. It was Almighty God that gave approval for this judgement.”