P’ Harcourt ‘serial killer’ pleads guilty to killing 9 women


Gracious David West, an alleged serial killer in Port Harcourt, has
pleaded guilty to killing nine women in different hotels.
West was arrested in September and had confessed to killing seven
girls; five in Port Harcourt; one in Owerri, Imo state capital and
another in Lagos.
But he admitted to killing nine women at his trial on Tuesday at the
state high court. He had first appeared before the judge, Adolphus
Enebeli, on Monday, without a lawyer representing him.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to attempting to kill his last victim
but said he only tied her to a chair and left the hotel room.
Speaking with journalists outside the courtroom, Gladys Imegwu, the
prosecuting counsel, said it was in the best interest of the state for
the ministry of justice to take over the prosecution of West.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Principal state counsel from the DPP office, Chidi Ekeh, said the move
was to ensure that justice prevails.
“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,” he said.
“We will prosecute this matter to its logical conclusion and ensure
that justice prevails at the end of the day.”
Defendant’s lawyer, Vincent Chukwu, however, said that his client
pleaded guilty was not enough to convict him of the crime. He said his
client has a plausible defence and the burden of proof is on the
He said: “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 a 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.”
The judge ordered that the defendant be remanded in a correctional
centre and adjourned the matter until November 18.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button