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Dismissed Rivers Policeman bags death sentence for killing driver

By News desk

A High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has sentenced a dismissed policeman, James Imhalu, to death by hanging for killing a commercial driver after refusing to pay him N100 bribe.

The death sentence slammed on the former policeman by Justice Elsie Thompson ended seven years of prosecution by the Rivers Police Command after the killing in 2015.

Delivering judgement yesterday, Thompson said evidence before the court showed that the sacked sergeant intentionally fired a shot at the commercial driver, Legbara David at Whimpey junction in Port Harcourt.

The judge described Imhalu as a serial trigger-happy policeman that should not be allowed to have access to arms and remain within society.

One of the counsel to the prosecution team, Kingsley Briggs, said that the judgement would serve as succour to the deceased family and bring closure to the incident.

“We thank God that today judgement has been given. Although the will of justice grinds slowly, but surely justice will come.

“For the family of those that lost their loved one and their breadwinner, it is quite unfortunate, But, I believe this judgement will serve as a succour to the family.

“He will be taken to the correctional centre and then to His Excellency. If His Excellency signs and gives the order, he will be executed accordingly,” he stated.

On his part, a representative of the legal aid council in Rivers State, who defended the sergeant, Mr Awaji, said they would study the judgement to know the next line of action.

“We came into the matter at the point of defense. The state has called numerous witnesses. Today’s judgement, I will say, is justice for the people of Rivers State.

“Despite the fact that I represented the defendant, my analysis of the case when I came into the matter, I would say, I saw it coming.

“Having listened to the judgement, currently there is no plan to go on appeal. But by the time we look at the judgement in-depth. perhaps we will be able to find grounds for appeal.

“But as it is, there is no plan to go on appeal,” Awaji stated.

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