Presiding judge, Justice Ukpa Ebitam, in a matter instituted against Mr. Godwin Elewanna who wasaccused of killing a 22-year-old boy, Douglas Ojugbo on March 10, 2015 following suspicion that the victim was having an affair with his daughter, Mercy, by the Cross River State Government will deliver judgment on Nov 16th.
Justice Ukpa Ebitam, however, remanded the accused in prison custody and adjourned the matter to November 16th for ruling on the no-case submission.
It was alleged that Elewanna had shot Douglas in the arm and leg and allowed the boy to bleed to death after which he bundled him into his carand took the corpse to the Federal Housing Police Station in Calabar.
Lawyer to the accused, Mr. Clement Ukaegbu, in his no-case submission when the matter (HC/9c/2017) was called at the High Court (9) in Calabar, had among others argued that one of the witnesses, Mr. Augustine Ojugbo (father of the deceased) did not give evidence in court or cross-examined on the authenticity of the claims.
“We submit based on the totality of the evidence before this honourable court that the accused is entitled to no-case submission because a case has not been made against the accused person to warrant his defence,” Ukaegbu’s address read in part.
However, in response to the no-case submission, the prosecution team led by Mr. Eneji Amajama, of the Department of Public Prosecutions, state Ministry of Justice, noted that in the course of trial the prosecution had called three key witnesses including the mother of thedeceased, Mrs. Maria Ojugbo.
He noted that it is the position of the law that to sustain the charge of murder, the prosecution team has to prove that the deceased died through the act of the accused that caused the death and that whether the act was intentional.
Amajama said the issue fordetermination was whetherthe prosecution has made out a prima facie case requiring, at least, some explanation from the accused.
His address read in part, “My Lord, we submit that atthis stage, the lengthy evaluation of prosecution evidence as done by the accused person in his address is unnecessary. What is required as laid down by the Supreme Court in a plethora of authorities.
“In particular, the cases of Abacha V State (2002) FWLR Pt. 118 and Tongo V COP (2007) 4 SCNJ 221, is that at this stage the prosecution is only expected to establish (show) reasonable groundsin the case for proceeding.”