The Lagos State High Court in Igbosere has sentenced a Cameroonian home help, Leudjoe Koyemen Joel, to death for murdering her Nigerian employer, Mrs Dayo Adeleke.
In a judgment delivered on Tuesday, two years and five months after the incident, Justice Adedayo Akintoye convicted Joel and ordered that he be hanged to death.
The judge held that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt a count of murder pressed by the state against the Cameroonian.
“All the evidence points to the defendant. I find merit in the prosecution’s case,” Justice Akintoye held.
The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions had in the charge told the court that Joel murdered Adeleke on December 20, 2016 at her Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos home.
Joel was arraigned before Justice Akintoye on January 19, 2017 on a count of murder, with the Lagos State Attorney and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, leading the prosecution team.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution told the judge that Joel, who was then 22 years old, stabbed his boss with a kitchen knife at about 9.30pm on December 20, 2016.
According to the prosecution, the home help had in the morning of that day approached his boss with a request for a two-week salary advance but was turned down.
He was said to have repeated the same request later in the evening when his boss returned home from work.
After being turned down the second time, the home help, out of anger, turned on his Nigerian boss with a kitchen knife, stabbing her in the chest and neck.
According to the prosecution, the late Adeleke was found lying on the floor of her living room in a pool of her own blood.
She was rushed to the St. Nicholas Hospital on Lagos Island, where a doctor confirmed her dead. The state said Joel acted contrary to Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Though a French interpreter, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In his defence, he claimed that it was while chasing him with a kitchen knife that her boss fell, stabbing herself.
But Justice Akintoye dismissed Joel’s claim.
After convicting him, the judge ordered that he should be hanged by the neck.
The family of the deceased, in a statement on Tuesday, hailed the judgment.
They regretted that the late Adeleke was killed by a “poor refugee” she offered to help.
The statement, signed by Mrs Funke Ade-Ojo (nee Adeleke), partly read, “It’s ironic that the person she employed, out of her compassion, turned round and snuffed out her life in one senseless act of greed.
“Her supposed ‘offence’ to warrant being murdered by him was that she had not obliged him a two-week salary advance which he requested earlier that morning. The reward for Dayo’s kindness was death!
“Joel robbed Dayo of marriage, motherhood and longevity, a painful fact that still hurts us as a family each and every day.
“The Nigeria Police worked tirelessly in investigating the matter and the Ministry of Justice, Lagos State, in turn, has worked diligently in prosecuting the matter in court.
“Today, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, two years and five months after the murder, Justice Akintoye, sitting at the Criminal Division of the High Court of Lagos State delivered her judgment and found Joel Leudjoe guilty of murder and sentenced him to death by hanging.
“This murderer robbed Dayo of marriage, motherhood and longevity.
“Though still heartbroken at Dayo’s death, we are somewhat consoled that justice has finally been served. Our beloved Dayo can now rest peacefully in the knowledge that her perpetrator received the full weight of the law for her murder.”