Police Sergeant to die by hanging for extrajudicial murder

Extrajudicial killings and harassment of citizens are rife


A high court in the Nigerian South-south state of Benin has sentenced a police sergeant to death by hanging for recklessly killing a defenceless citizen with an AK 47 rifle issued to him for guard duties.

Justice Roland Amaize said Sergeant Kalejaiye Ola should be hung for murdering citizen Paul Erimafa without any justification.

In his judgment, Justice Amaize held that Mr. Ola premeditated the killing of Mr. Erimafa contrary to his claim that it was an accidental discharge of bullets from his rifle that killed the victim.

In a case that dragged for eight years, the prosecution had told the court that the sergeant shot the victim opposite the state chief judge’s residence on central road, Benin City on June 23, 2003 and then framed him up for armed robbery.

The Judge agreed with the prosecution that the robbery claim was a lie, and that the sergeant’s initial statement contradicted his oral testimony in court.

Justice Amaize said evidence from the police doctor who performed a post mortem on the victim showed damaged urinary bladder and profuse bleeding by the deceased.

The court also held that the evidence of one of the expert prosecution witnesses on the suspect’s handling of arms and ammunitions showed that his AK 47riffle was not at the safety cache when the incident occurred.

The judge further held that the defence did not challenge the evidence of another prosecution witness present at the scene of the incident.

The court therefore held that the prosecution convincingly established a case of murder against the accused. It therefore consequently sentenced him to death by hanging under section 319 of the Nigeria criminal code.