Nigeria: Man Acquitted After 11 Years On Death Row

A man, Mr. Ganiyu Wahab, who has been on death row for 11 years, finally regained freedom as he was discharged and acquitted by a Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos.

Wahab was arrested on January 23, 2005 on the allegation of murder and subsequently convicted and sentenced to death on July 2, 2007 in a judgement delivered by Justice Oluwayemi of Lagos High Court.

The case against Wahab at the High Court was that he murdered one Kolawole Alaran on January 23, 2005 by stabbing him with a bottle.

It was alleged that the murder took place at the Agboyi area of Lagos State. At the end of the trial, the lower court found him guilty and sentenced him to death.

Following the appeal against his conviction and sentence by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP, a panel of justices presided over by Justice Abimbola Obaseki- Adejumo of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on July 13, 2016, unanimously allowed the appeal of the appellant and set aside his conviction and death sentence.

The court, in considering the appeal, resolved all issues raised in favour of appellant.

In its decision, the court found that the conviction of the appellant on the evidence of the first prosecution witness, who was the only eyewitness called, and the confessional statement of the appellant were erroneous as both evidences contained different facts.

The court further held that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Source: Vanguard

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