Gracious David West, the serial killer in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, who was arrested by the police few weeks ago for killing 9 women in different hotels, has pleaded guilty to the gruesome act.
“So far, I have killed five girls in Port Harcourt; one in Owerri, and another in Lagos. I started the killing in Lagos. I took N52,000 from the bank account of the first girl I killed in Lagos. Thereafter, I went to Port Harcourt, then to Owerri, and later returned to Port Harcourt,” the serial killer who was arraigned on Tuesday before Justice Adolphus Enebeli said.
“After I killed a girl, I collected her phone and sold it at Waterlines and the MTN office in Port Harcourt. I met the last girl at a club in Port Harcourt,” he added.
West who did not deny killing 9 young women, however stated that he had no intentions to kill his 10th victim before his arrest. According to him, he only tied her to a chair and left her in the hotel room.
The counsel for the defendant, Vincent Chukwu, surprisingly however said that West’s plea was not enough to convict him of crime.
“The offence in question is a capital offence; whether my client did it or not, the presumption is that the prosecution must still prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. So, it is not for the defendant to just say I am guilty and liable and it ends there.
“Because the punishment is death, the burden is now on the prosecution to go ahead and prove its case and we are waiting for it.
“My client has a very plausible defence, which we shall open at the appropriate time. We had fruitful deliberations with him on Monday and we hope for the best in the matter.”
Gladys Imegwu, the prosecuting counsel, after the court session told journalists that it was in the best interest of Rivers State for the Ministry of Justice in the state take over the case.
“The court actually ruled on the application of the lawyer from the Ministry of Justice through the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, who made an application to take over the case. It is their constitutional right and the court granted the application; we are not opposed to it.”
“It is for the betterment of the state and we are working together. At the same time, we made it clear that we have prosecutorial power; even the Criminal Justice Law gives us that power,” Imegwu said.
In his reaction, Chidi Ekeh, the Principal State Counsel from the DPP, said; “We consider this case a very sensitive one, because of the fact that most of the nine victims were killed in Rivers State; so, we want to send a message to Rivers residents that lives are valued and that such an offence cannot be toyed with.
“We will prosecute this matter to its logical conclusion and ensure that justice prevails at the end of the day.”
Princess Ada is a Senior Content Creator and Head of Field Reporters at Naija Buzz News. She is a graduate of The Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa, Nasarawa State, where she studied Accounting before joining the media industry. She’s well experienced in Nigeria’s online media space. Ada previously worked as the Head of Business Operations at 1Push.Ng. She is a proud Igbo from Enugu State, South-East Nigeria.