A Nigerian commercial sex worker in the Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos State, Nkechi Okafor has been sentenced to six years imprisonment for allegedly stabbing one of her clients, Abiodun Sarumi to death.
27 year-old Nkechi who is a primary school drop-out is a mother of a four year old girl and hails from Imo State.
She was found guilty today by Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Ikeja High court of manslaughter after the charges of murder preferred against her was amended to manslaughter.
Nkechi was arraigned on 16 March, 2012, on a one count charge of murder. The charge was later amended to manslaughter.
Justice Okunnu held that from evidence before her, Miss Okafor acted on impulse by stabbing Sarumi, but without the intention to kill.
She noted that her defence for the act was not enough to exornorate her of the crime.
After the judge pronounced the judgment, Nkechi who was crying,pleaded with the court to have mercy on her, saying that she doesn’t have anybody to help her and that she is very sorry for what happened.
Her defence counsel, Mrs A. Onabolu, who also pleaded on her behalf, said the defendant is a young woman in her prime age, a first offender and that she is sorry for what happened.
The prosecuting counsel, Olabisi Ogungbesan, had told the court that the accused on 2 March, 2010, at about 23:30 hours, at Nice Time Hotel, Old Ipaja Road, Lagos, killed her client, one Mr. Abiodun Sarumi, by stabbing him with a bottle on his shoulder, close to the armpit.
Ogungbesan, said that investigation carried out in the matter by Inspector Ada Erondu from state Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos, confirmed the Nkechi caused the death of Sarumil.
She said that the sex worker admitted that she stabbed Sarumi but that she didn’t know that he was going to die.
She added that on the said date of the crime, Sarumi came out with blood all over him and was shouting for help.
Ogungbesan said an angry mob, which saw Sarumi in blood wanted to kill Nkechi, but she ran back to the room and locked herself in.
In her evidence-in-chief, Nkechi claimed that she killed the victim in self-defence, saying that Sarumi came to the hotel at midnight on the fateful day to see her friend Ivie
Nkechi, said she was forced into prostitution by one of her relatives after she dropped out of primary school.
“I have not always been a prostitute,when I was in the village in Imo State, I had a baby girl and she is 3 years old. Things were not easy for us. We are nine in my family and I am the third child. When this aunty called Evelyn came to the village last year, she said she will take me to Lagos to work in a restaurant,” she said.
“We were two she brought to Lagos. When we got to Lagos, she told one of the girls we met in the hotel to take us round the hotel. When we saw the type of dress the girls were wearing, we told her that we cannot do prostitution.”
Nkechi said ‘Aunty Evelyn’ forced her and the other girls to work for her for two months before she would give them money to return to the village.
“That was how I went into prostitution,” she said. “She was the one who paid for the rooms we stayed and after we have slept with the customers, every night, she comes to collect the money. We charged the customers N1000 per night and we can make up to N6000 in a day.
I was even tired of the prostitution and I was planning to go back home when this incident happened. I feel pain and pity about Abbey’s death. God knows that I did not intend to kill.”