A Policeman, Samuel Timothy,has been sentenced to death by hanging after finding him guilty for fatally shooting a graduate of Industrial Chemistry, Onyekachi Nwasouba in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The Police Inspector, was convicted by the high court judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli on Monday.
The court’s ruling is coming about five years after Nwasouba was murdered by the police at about 5am on November 10, 2010 at No. 34, Old Aba Road, Port Harcourt.
The victim, who was into production and distribution of sachet water, was said to have been branded a robbery suspect by the policemen, on the fateful day, after he had gone to distribute his products to his customers.
It was also gathered that the convict, who led the police patrol team, pursued Nwasouba to the front of his house.
The deceased was shot dead there by a team of policemen, led by Timothy, at the front of his residence, even after he (Nwasouba) shouted to the hearing of the policemen that he was only a pure water producer and not an armed robber.
Delivering his judgment on Monday, the trial judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, declared that the convict (Timothy) demonstrated an act of inhumanity through his action.
Justice Enebeli, whose ruling took about three hours, however, discharged and acquitted one Corporal Moses, who had been standing trial together with the convict.
The judge said that based on the testimonies of witnesses, including members of the patrol team in the case, the convict was an “inhuman, trigger-happy policeman, who engages in murder; a hater of humankind and a merciless killer.”
Explaining that the killing of the sachet water seller by the convict was deliberate, Justice Enebeli, maintained that Timothy should die by hanging.
The trial judge added that based on the law and the circumstances surrounding the death of the graduate of Industrial Chemistry, he had no power to reduce the sentence.
“According to Section 319 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I do not have the power to reduce your sentence. That you, Inspector Timothy Samuel be hanged on your neck until you are dead,” he held.
Justice Enebeli stated that Corporal Moses was discharged and acquitted because it became clear that the policemen on duty never conspired to kill the victim (Nwasouba).