A high court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers, has sentenced Chidiebere Okoroafor, a popular pastor in the state, to death for killing Orlunma Nwagba, his choir mistress.
Okoroafor is the general overseer of the Altar of Solution and Healing Assembly based in Oyigbo LGA of the state.
The embattled cleric was said to have killed Nwagba after allegedly impregnating her.
He was also arraigned for murdering Chigozie Ezenwa, Nwagba’s friend, and her 11-month-old baby.
In his ruling, Stanley Benson, the trial judge, convicted the pastor of the murder charges and ordered that he should be hanged by his neck until he dies or be executed by lethal injection.
The judge said the prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. He added that the confessional statements made by the cleric were “very indicting”.
Reacting to the development, Precious Ordu, the prosecuting counsel from the state ministry of justice, hailed the court ruling.
Ordu also commended the International Federation of Women Lawyers for ensuring that justice was served in the case.
But Innocent Ekpu, the defence counsel, said his client would appeal the judgement.
“The court held that there was no eyewitness, not even one throughout the trial. The court also held that there was no circumstantial evidence linking the fellow to murder,” he said.
“But that the court convicted him of murder on account of his confessional statements. We, as counsel to the defendant, have decided to appeal the case.
“We are going to file our notice of appeal as quickly as possible because we have grounds on which we believe that the defendant did not commit the offence. And that the trial court misapprehended the facts and also misconceived the law.”
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