By Nkasi Kolie
Justice Oyindamola Ogala of Lagos High Court, Ikeja on Wednesday told a couple, Fortune and Stephen Nwankwo that they had a case to answer over the death of their housemaid, Miss Joy Adole.
Ogala while ruling on the no-case submission filed by the Nwankwos told them to open their defence. “This court has carefully considered the position of the law and believes that the prosecution has established that there is a ground for further proceedings. The no-case submission cannot hold. Therefore, the defendants are now called to give evidence,” the judge said.
Addressing the court during proceedings on October 11, lawyer to the defendants, Prof Paul Ananaba (SAN) had said that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions was unable to establish a case of murder against the couple. Ananaba accused the state of presenting hearsay evidence and urged the court to uphold the no-case submission.
The state prosecutor, Mr Yusuf Sule, in his response, raised questions over the circumstances surrounding the death of Adole in the home of her employers. Sule, in his submission, had said that the circumstantial evidence presented to the court by the prosecution would prove that the defendants killed the deceased.
The Nwankwos are facing a four- count charge of conspiracy, involuntary manslaughter and accessory after the fact to murder.
They were accused of killing 19-year-old Adole on April 20, 2020 at their residence at No. 18, Ogundola St., Bariga, Lagos. The couple denied killing Adole; claiming that she hung herself in her bedroom.
Authorities however disputed the claim and alleged that the position in which the dead body was found, did not depict suicide. The case was adjourned until January 17 and 31 for opening of defence.