The Court of Appeal Abuja Division has affirmed the life imprisonment passed on Timothy Lekan, by a High Court of Federal Capital Territory in Abuja and dismissed his appeal for lacking in merit.
Justice Mohammed Baba Idris who delivered the unanimous judgment of the Appeal Court held that the FCT High Court was right in convicting Lekan for the killing of Sylvester Emefiele on September 23, 2012 in Abuja.
Justice Stephen Adah and Justice Elfrieda Oluwayemesi Williams- Dawodu agreed with judgment.
A copy of the Appeal Court judgement was obtained by newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Lawyer to the family of the deceased was Lawrence Ogor, from the law firm of Ikem Ogor Associates in Kaduna.
Emefiele, who was travelling from Lagos, was abducted by two commercial drivers that operated between Kwali and Abuja City Road after picking him at the Giri Junctionon September 23, 2012.
Justice O.A. Musa of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in the Bwari area of Abuja, had however discharged and acquitted three suspects, Saidi Baba Tunde, Banjo Olaniyi and Saliu Afeez.
The accused were said to have confessed during interrogation by security operatives that the spirit of the deceased had been tormenting them.
While Lekan appealed the judgment which sent him to prison, Taiwo Akinlade, accepted his faith and did not appeal.
But the Appellate Court held that Lekan’s denial of his own confessional statement after it had been admitted as exhibit by the trial Court was an after taught.
Justice Idris held that the law had been established by several cases that “an accused person who seeks to challenge his confessional statement must do so timeously upon the point of tendering the said statement. The accused person must also be consistent in objection throughout the trial.
“It is the duty of counsel to guard the interest of his /her client because it is the reason for his engagement as such counsel has the duty to timeously object to a statement purportedly not made voluntarily. Where this is not done, it is seen as counsel not having a problem with the statement and sees no reason why he would challenge its admission.
“I find no merit in the argument that the Court intentionally decided to omit the objection. I, therefore, pronounced that the trial court was right to have found that the statement was voluntarily made since no objection was raised at the time of admitting the exhibit in evidence.”
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