For killing a 17 year old boy in Yucaipa two years ago, a Bayelsa High Court yesterday sentenced a policeman, Corporal Vincent Koluamawei to death by hanging.The Policeman shot and killed Innocent Kokorifa in cold blood while running errand for his mother and deposited his body at the mortuary.
Justice Ineikade Eradiri held that that contrary to the position of the police, he was convinced that the young Kokorifa, was shot dead by a member of a police patrol team in Okaka area, was not armed when he was gruesomely murdered. The judge also averred that there was no evidence that the gun allegedly recovered by the police after Kokorifa's killing and a substance suspected to be marijuana the police said were found in his pocket, belonged to the deceased.
Police authorities in the state had maintained that the young boy belonged to a gang of armed robbers, arguing that his group exchanged gunfire with the cops before he was hit by a shot fired by the convict. The incidence sparked outrage leading to protests by youths and Civil Society Groups led by Morris Alagoa, Nengi James and Aluzu Ebikebuna, a lawyer and rights activist.
But in his judgement yesterday, Justice Eradiri averred that the prosecution had proven its case beyond all reasonable doubts, maintaining that the defense of the police was conflicting. "The punishment prescribed for murder is death. Accordingly, the sentence of this court is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead. May God have mercy on your soul".
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Amiebi Turner was yesterday dragged before Eradiri for illegal possession of firearm. However, the defendant, who was accused of attacking Tare Porri, Chairman of the zone, with a gun, pleaded not guilty. Eradiri ordered that Turner be remanded in prison, pending the argument on his bail on the 11th of this month.