A police officer, Salisu Ibrahim, who had been connected to the Epe Branch of First Bank Plc, was on Tuesday sentenced to seven years imprisonment for shooting at the bank’s security guard.
ABN reports that Ibrahim, however, walked from the court a free man, having spent six decades and five months in prison, even exceeding his seven-year prison term since eight weeks equal to a year.
Justice Raliatu Adebiyi described as possible and possible, his confessional statement that the gun exploded and hit on the deceased, Olanrewaju Majofodun while convicting Ibrahim.
“The defendant is a police officer; as a result, that the AK47 was lawfully issued, the shooting of the gun was in a reckless fashion, without regard to human life.
“The court finds that the prosecution had been able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the firing of the AK47 rifle by the defendant caused the death of the deceased.
Salisu Ibrahim is found guilty of a one-count control of manslaughter, contrary to Section 227 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.
After allocutus (plea for mercy ) by defence counsel, Mr Anthony Ezenda, the judge, in sentencing Ibrahim, implemented the High Court Sentencing Guidelines issued as Practice Management by former Chief Judge Opeyemi Oke on March 27, 2018.
The judge said that the statute would permit the exercise of the discretion of the court in sentencing the defendant.
She maintained that there was a lack of premeditation on the part of Ibrahim, stating that the discharge from his gun was unintentional and that he showed guilt.
“In considering aggravating and mitigating factors, the court finds that there were no aggravating factors but there have been many mitigating factors in favour of the suspect.
“The first is the show of guilt, second is no previous conviction, third is care for the dead person, fourth is the confessional statement, and five is the fact that a suspect is a family man with kids.
“The beginning point on Table Five of the Sentencing Guidelines for modified offences, for low obligatory offences which cause serious harm is 50 per cent.
“The punishment being life sentence is figured in 25 years, applying best practices; 50 per cent of 25 years amounts to 12.5 years,” she said.
The judge held that in light of the fact that there were many factors although no aggravating factors, the court would dismiss five and a half years in the 12 and a half years’ sentence.
“The time spent in prison custody while undergoing trial will be discounted from the prison sentence; I so hold.”
ABN reports that Ibrahim increased his hands in appreciation and realising he is currently free, shed tears of relief.
A police officer of 15 years, Ibrahim, worked for three decades as a bank guard.
He spent two decades in the Epe Branch of First Bank Plc.
He pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter, also was arraigned before the high court on April 28, 2015.
“The suspect, while on duty, unlawfully killed Majofodun, his friend and a part of the Oodua Peoples Congress by shooting him on the buttocks with his AK47 ceremony gun.
“The deceased at the time of his departure was employed by the bank as a security guard,” Ahmed-Muili explained.
While the suspect testified solely for citizenship three witnesses Mr Victor Majofodun and two police officers testified for the prosecution.
Testifying for the prosecution, Insp. Adeboye James of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Panti, Yaba, Lagos, along with the Investigating Police Officer, stated that the case was transferred to his office on July 9, 2013.
“The defendant attempted to test his rifle, it burst and contributed to the dead person’s departure,” James said.
The AK47 rifle and marked and a single magazine was tendered as exhibits during the trial.
Ibrahim, in his announcement excerpts read aloud through judgment in court, had stated he booked 13 rounds of ammunition in the Epe Police Station.
He said he had gone in a downpour to fire two rounds of ammunition since the armourer had told him that his gun had just been serviced to test his AK47 rifle.
“Once I arrived back, I was attempting to pull my rifle when it exploded and struck the safety man, Olanrewaju Majofodun, on the buttocks.
“I did not intend to kill him, it was an unintentional release.
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