Ex-policeman to die by hanging for killing 20-year-old


Mathew Egheghe, a former policeman attached to the Bayelsa State police command is to die by hanging for killing 20-year-old Victor Emmanuel at a checkpoint along Sani Abacha Expressway, Yenagoa, on October 16, 2011.

Victor was killed in the presence of his mother, who tried in vain to stop the policeman from killing her son.

After the shooting, the police reportedly removed a copy of the Bible he held in his hand and replaced it with a pair of scissors.

The victim who was being conveyed by a commercial motorcyclist to his destination after a church service was killed for condemning extortion and bribery at the checkpoint.

He was reported to have said: “Oga policeman, don’t you people go to church even on Sunday. Pity this poor man, now.”

After a protracted legal battle spearheaded by the mother of the deceased, Grace, and human rights community including Ankio Briggs, the state High Court, Nembe Division, sitting in Yenagoa, on Tuesday found Mathew guilty of murder.

The court presided over by Justice Lucky Boufili, however, discharged and acquitted Lucky Oberemelu (first accused) and John Imeh (third accused) over what it described as the failures of the prosecution to directly link them to the murder.

He said the first accused person could not have been responsible for the shooting that led to the death of Victor since evidence before him showed he was only armed with a smoke gun.

He further ruled that the third accused person though was assigned an AK47 rifle on the day of the incident, evidence from the police proved that he returned the gun with all his assigned ammunition intact.

In a judgment that lasted over an hour in a quiet and sultry courtroom, Boufili traced the origin of the matter, dissected all evidence before him and held that all the bullets that eventually killed Victor were fired by Mathew.

The judge was faced with the task of determining whether the prosecution was able to establish its case beyond every reasonable doubt by proving that the deceased died; that the death resulted from the acts of the accused persons and that the act was intended to kill or cause bodily harm to the deceased.

On the first ingredient of murder which is whether the deceased died, the judge said, “Evidence before me unequivocally points to the fact that Victor Emmanuel died.”

Referring to the report of the pathologist and the evidence he gave before the court, he said nine bullets had entry and exit points on the body of the deceased.

“The pathologist certified the cause of death to be multiple gunshot injuries,” he said, adding that five of the bullets hit late Victor on the head.

On whether the evidence of the pathologist could be relied upon in determining the culpability of the second accused persons, the judge said any evidence averred to by a qualified medical expert could be used to determine the cause of death.

The judge further said: “There is no doubt that the death of the deceased was as a result of the gunshot fired at him by the second accused person.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.