Domestic Staff Sentenced to Death for Murdering Employer and Her Daughter in Lagos
On March 27, 2023, the Ikeja High Court delivered a verdict in the case of Joseph Ogbu, a domestic staff who was accused of killing his 89-year-old employer, Ajoke John, and her daughter, Oreoluwa John, aged 38. The incident took place on June 19, 2019, at their home in Surulere, Lagos, just 24 hours after Ogbu was hired. Following the trial, Justice Modupe Nicole-Clay found Ogbu guilty on three counts of armed robbery and murder and sentenced him to death by hanging.
During the trial, evidence was presented that the defendant had confessed to the crimes, stating that he had killed both women because he was the only witness to the incident and he acknowledged living with them. Adejoke was strangled to death, while Oreoluwa was stabbed. The evidence presented included testimony from a security guard, an Okada man, a house help, and a police inspector.
The court found the evidence against Ogbu to be sufficient to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge noted that the defence did not object to the admissibility of the confessional statement, which further confirmed the defendant’s confession to the crimes. In delivering the verdict, Justice Nicole-Clay expressed sympathy for the victims’ families and said, “This court has found Joseph Ogbu guilty of these heinous crimes, and you are hereby sentenced to death by hanging. May God have mercy on your soul.”
In his allocutus, the defence counsel, Moses Enema, pleaded for mercy for his client, while the state counsel, Olarewaju Daud, urged the court to convict the defendant as charged. Despite the plea for mercy, the court upheld the verdict and the sentence. Joseph Ogbu, who is from the Oju Local Government Area of Benue State, was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of Ajoke John and Oreoluwa John.