An Igbosere High Court, Lagos, on Thursday sentenced Jelili Falana, an Assistant Vigilante of the O’odua People’s Congress, Agege branch, to 25 years’ imprisonment for manslaughter.
Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya convicted Falana for shooting a herbal medicine hawker, Afolashade Salami, to death.
Ogunsanya, in her judgment, said that the sentence was without an option of fine and would take effect from 2016.
The judge held that facts of the case were more consistent with manslaughter than murder.
Ogunsanya said that the convict shot Salami and dumped her corpse in a soakaway.
The sentence followed Falana’s second re-arraignment on December 7, 2016 on one count of amended charge of murder, which contravened Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the convict was first arraigned by the Lagos State Government on January 11, 2016 and re-arraigned on an amended charge on February 1, 2016.
Falana had, earlier, pleaded not guilty on the three occasions, after which trial commenced.
The prosecutor, Mr. Adebayo Haroun, had told the court that Falana committed the offence on June 15, 2014 at 10.30p.m at an OPC vigilance office in Agege.
He said that the case was reported to the Railway Police Division, Agege, by Mr. Adekunle Adegoke, the OPC coordinator in the area.
During trial, Haroun tendered the convict’s statement before the court and it was admitted in evidence.
In the statement, Falana admitted that he knew the deceased as a “local nurse” and drug hawker who placed him on malaria medication on the morning of the incident.
Falana’s statement stated that the deceased was on her way home but stopped at the OPC’s office to check on him.
The statement also stated that the victim sat beside Falana while he was fiddling with his single-barrel gun, which went off and hit the victim in the head, killing her.
Falana said that he became confused and afraid; adding that he dumped the victim’s body and the gun in the soakaway.
A prosecution witness, Inspector Gloria Anumo, had testified that Falana, during interrogation, said he seized the gun from some hoodlums and used it for vigilance work.
Anumo said the convict claimed that he had no licence, nor did he know how to operate the gun.