A Lagos High Court has sentenced one Daniel Gajo, to 21 years in prison for stabbing his 24-year-old wife, Esther, to death.
The court, sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square, had initially denied the suspect’s not guilty plea. Gajo was remanded back in June 2013 and charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter. According to the prosecution, the act was contrary to Section 227 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
When the hearing resumed on Thursday before Justice Yetunde Adesanya, the Olayemi Shofolu-led prosecution informed the court that Gajo had decided to plead guilty to the charge.
The plea bargain and sentencing agreement signed by the his defence had prayed the court to grant the 17 year jail term as recommended in the agreement. Gajo himself also confirmed the agreement under oath, adding that he was not compelled to change his plea for a reduced sentence.
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However, Justice Adesanya clarified that she was not impressed with the plea bargain due to the severity of the crime. She said,
“The defendant took his wife’s life in her mother’s home. I am not bound by the sentencing agreement and can decide to increase the years. No one has the right to take another person’s life.”
She added that the recommended sentence was not enough when compared to the crime he committed. Especially as according to her, the crime was “unprovoked and premeditated.”
“I have taken into account the statements of the parties. I also recognize that the court is not bound to accept the sentencing agreement. In view of this, I hereby convict you, Daniel Gajo, as charged. Having regard to all considerations, this court rejects the 17 years sentencing agreement. I hereby sentence you, Daniel Gajo, to 21 years in prison starting from the day of your remand, June 13, 2013.”