REPORTER: CHRISTIAN NWANGENE
Justice Kenneth Okpe of the Enugu State High Court has sentenced, Chiamaka Ifezue, who killed an Enugu based makeup artist, Ms. Ijeoma Nneke, to death by hanging.
Justice Kenneth Okpe handed down the sentence on Wednesday in Enugu.
He ruled that Ifezue was found guilty of murdering the 27-year make-up artist on November 11th, 2020.
The judge maintained that the team of prosecution counsel from the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) led by Ms. Chinelo Chigbo proved beyond reasonable doubt that the suspect was responsible for the death of late Nneke
Before the judgment, the prosecuting counsel, Ms Chinelo Chigbo, said she relied on the doctrine of last seen to prosecute the case because the late make-up artist was last seen with Ifezue.
Ms Chigbo said the defendant was charged with murder, in line with section 274 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Enugu State.
“The defendant was charged with murder and what we relied on was the doctrine of last seen because Ifezue was actually seen with the deceased prior to her death.
“The defendant was not to tell the court how the late make-up artist met her death.
“What we established in the court is that she was last seen and the circumstances linking her alone, which point irresistible to the conclusion that the defendant is the one that killed late Nneke.
“Prior to the incident, the defendant had MTN number, but she didn’t use that number to call the make-up artist.
“But she instructed their house boy to go and register a sim card in his own name, and that was the sim card she used in making the call, claiming to be Nkiru.
“That evidence is before the court, and even, she is making a claim that it is one Nkiru; she was not able to get that Nkiru.
“The prosecution had to write to 9mobile, the network provider to that sim card and they gave us everything showing that the sim card was registered by the house boy and not Nkiru,” the counsel said.
According to the counsel, the defendant offered the pharmacist she bought a drug she used a sum of £100 to silence him, adding that the pharmacist collected the money and still testified against her in the court
Reacting to the judgment via telephone, the elder sister of the late make-up artist, Ms. Aku Nneke said her family was happy and satisfied with the decision of the court, saying justice had been served the suspect.
Aku Nneke said though the death sentence would not bring back their sister, but added that judgment was a huge consolation for her family, who were still mourning the gruesome murder of their sister.
She stressed that the judgment had renewed her belief in the saying: that the court is the last hope of common man.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU