A Lagos State High Court sitting at TBS has sentenced a 32-year-old man, Saheed Sanni, to 18 years’ imprisonment for stabbing one Jide Felix to death.
The Publisher Nigeria gathered learnt that the convict stabbed Felix in the neck with a broken bottle on December 18, 2015, at LUTH Junction in the Agege Motor Road area of Mushin, Lagos, when an argument ensued between them.
Sanni, who had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was first arraigned on January 18, 2021, later pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter.
The prosecution counsel, Olayemi Shofolu, informed the court that the convict applied for a plea bargain to change his plea, adding that the prosecution had amended the charge.
Subsequently, the presiding judge, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, asked Sanni about his awareness of the amended charge as well his voluntariness of the plea bargain, which he answered in the affirmative.
He was re-arraigned on the amended charge of involuntary manslaughter dated October 4, 2021.
According to the prosecution, the offence is contrary to Section 227 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.
Following his plea, Sanni’s counsel, K.F. Balogun, in her allocutus, urged the court to temper justice with mercy, adding that the convict regretted his action.
She said, “My lord, we are praying the court to temper justice with mercy. The defendant has since regretted his action; he is remorseful knowing the gravity of the offence. We sympathise with the family of the deceased. The defendant is a young man who has a lifetime ahead of him. He has lost his wife, father and mother while in prison.
“The defendant is 32 years old. He considered a plea bargain for restoring his life after serving the prison term. What the defendant did was youthful exuberance.”
Following the allocutus, Justice Adesanya held that the court was not bound by the plea bargain agreement, adding that she considered the gravity of the offence committed by the convict and the allocutus of his counsel.
The judge subsequently sentenced the convict to 18 years’ imprisonment starting from the date he was remanded.