A State High court in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice Silverline Iragunima has sentenced one Telema Amaso to death by hanging for the murder of one Helen Ibiba Bobmauel who was strangled in 2013 at her residence in Woji axis of Rivers State.Mr. Amaso who was convicted for murder was a house help to Late Mrs. Bobmanuel and her late husband as at the time the crime was committed. He was tried alongside Ndubuisi Chukwuemeka who assisted him in stealing the victim’s properties.
The convict Telema Amaso and Chukwuemeka were tried for murder, conspiracy to murder, and stealing but a conspiracy to murder was struck out because the prosecution team failed to establish that the second defendant conspired with the first defendant to commit the crime.
Justice Iragonima further stated that the defendants were convicted for the different offenses because overwhelming evidence including the confessional statements given to the police indicted them of committing the different crimes.
Justice Iragonima said even though the first defendant Telema Amaso denied and retracted his earlier confessional statements he failed to convince the court that he never committed the crime.
She added that the claim by the first defendant Telema Amaso a native of Bakana from Degema Local Government Area that armed robbers attacked him and his late boss in the house was an afterthought.
The judge in her judgment said the court believed the evidence of the prosecution team on the area of murder and so hold the charge preferred against him.
Justice Silverline Iragonima who instead of sentencing the second defendant Ndubuisi Chukwuemeka to life imprisonment reduced it to fourteen years after much pleading from both the prosecution and Defence teams.
As for the charge of stealing, Justice Iragonima said the court found him guilty because his claims that he never knew that the first defendant has committed the crime did not convince the court to discharge him of the offense.
She however counted for him the seven years he has already spent in prison custody for awaiting trial as equivalent to the appropriate jail term for the offense of stealing to the second defendant.
According to reports, the two convicts persons were arrested on the 17th of September 2013 shortly after it was found out that Mrs. Hellen Ibiba Bobmanuel had been murdered and her properties worth five million Naira including Hyundai Elantra saloon car, laptop and phone were made away from her Woji resident by the first defendant.