Lawyer gets seven-year jail term for killing husband
An Ibadan-based lawyer, Yewande Oyediran, was yesterday sentenced to seven years imprisonment by an Oyo State High Court, for stabbing her husband to death on February 2, 2016.
Justice Muktar Abimbola, while pronouncing the judgment, said he took into recognition the fact that the evidences and facts of the case presented to him did not point to the fact that the act was premeditated.
He averred that even though the incident was that of an anger predicated on the call of another woman, who was the mother of the love child of the deceased, it was not pre-medicated, despite the fact that the prosecution proved that the defendant caused the death of her husband.
Yewande, an assistant director in the Oyo State Ministry of Justice, was alleged to have stabbed her husband, Lowo Oyediran, a France-based businessman to death during a domestic scuffle, with a knife on February 2, 2016, at their No. 30, Adeniyi Layout, Abidi-Odan, Akobo area of Ibadan.
During the trial, the prosecution led by Mr. S. S Akinyele, presented nine witnesses, while the defence team, led by Mr. Leye Adepoju, presented seven witnesses.
Ten exhibits were tendered in the case, while a charge of one-count of murder was preferred against the accused.
Justice Abimbola, who is the Chief Judge of Oyo State, noted that during the trial, the prosecution was able to prove that the marriage between the couple was tainted with violence, and that the prosecution had tried to get the court to convict her, based on the history of violence and adultery inherent in the marriage between the defendant and her late husband.
He also said that the defence had tried hard to prove that the evidences raised against their client were not weighty enough to convict her.
However, the presiding judge said, he had tried to be thorough on his part to be fair in the case.
His words: “I have taken pain to go through and also review the submissions of both the prosecution and the defense teams.
‘’I am relying on superior judgments adopted in the past and also the veracity and credibility of the evidence of all witnesses.
‘’No evidence happens in a vacuum. All the parties did not dispute the facts and cause of the murder.
‘’I, hereby, hold that all the witnesses agreed that the deceased died on February 2, 2016 and that it was not a natural death’’.
The judge rejected inferences by the defence team that a third party (the landlord) was involved and could have been responsible for the stabbing.
Relying on section 316 (1) of the state penal code, the Judge averred that anyone that causes the death of another is guilty of murder, but that the defendant’s case was different because she has not being proven to have planned the murder of her husband before hand, which would have necessitated her been sentenced under sections 308, 319 as amended.
During Allocutus (pre-sentence address by counsels) the defence lawyer pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, with a minimum jail term under the law.
According to Mr. Adepoju, a lengthy jail term would ruin the career of the defendant, and that since jail terms were not supposed to be punitive, but rather
rehabilitative, the court should spare her the agony of a long prison term.
On his own, the prosecutor, referred the court to the recent stabbing to death of one Alhaji Sule by his wife and that cases of the nature were becoming rampart. However, he also cited a case in the United States, between one Temitope Adebanwo and her husband, Adeyinka Adebanwo, who were both Nigerians.
He said the wife, who stabbed her husband to death, was given a light sentence, by being remanded in a correctional facility.
He told the court that he would leave the matter of rehabilitative measures in its hands.
Justice Abimbola, spurned the pleading of the defence , averring that the defendant ought to have been calmed by the first incident of the day, when she stabbed the husband with a pair of scissors.
The Oyo CJ, said the country did not have a correctional facility in the country, and added that the defendant had been the aggressive party in the two stabbing incidents on the night in question.
He, thereafter, sentenced Yewande Oyediran to seven years imprisonment.
However, the sentence is to run with the period of time she has served in prison during her trial.
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