The Togolese cook who was arrested over the murder of Ope Bademosi, an Ondo town born chairman of Credit Switch Technology, Sunday Anani has been sentenced to life imprisonment by an Igbosere high court in Lagos.
Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile, the judge, convicted Anani after he pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of voluntary manslaughter.
The suspect was arraigned on a two-count charge of murder and armed robbery but he struck a plea bargain deal with the Lagos state government during the trial.
He had confessed to the court that he stabbed Bademosi to death while trying to rob him at his Ikoyi residence in October 2018.
At the resumed trial on Monday, Aderenra Adeyemi, the defense counsel, prayed the court to be lenient with judgement, saying the defendant is remorseful for what he did.
“The defendant is a young man and he is remorseful about what he has done,” Adeyemi said.
“He is a first time offender, there is no evidence that he committed any crime before this. Our humble application is to urge your lordship to grant a sentence of years certain. However, if my lordship is mindful of upholding what we have agreed in the plea bargain, we will accept the sentence therein.”
But Titilayo Shitta-Bey, the state director of public prosecutions (DPP), opposed the prayer, noting that they were some “aggravating circumstances” surrounding the case.
“We urge this court to grant the maximum sentence for the offence of voluntary manslaughter act as charged,” she said.
“Judicial notice must be taken of the fact that this act of violence by domestic employees against their employers is becoming rampant.
“The sentence must reflect that this conduct is unacceptable to our society; we must send the message to others of like minds like the defendant.”
Delivering judgement, the judge said it was painful that Anani caused an endless pain to the family of the deceased.
“It is annoying that a young man like this would involve himself in this kind of crime,” said Okikiolu-Ighile.
“It is very painful that a young boy whom the family of Bademosi welcomed in their home as a cook ended up causing so much havoc and endless pain.
“It is even more painful that the defendant had no motive of working but came into the house with a criminal intention to steal to kill and to destroy.
“Sunday Adefonou Anani, defendant of this court, is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. The term of imprisonment shall commence from today June 25, 2019.”