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Published On: Tue, Apr 8th, 2014

Court to sentence man, 30, for illegally burying late girlfriend

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An Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court in Karu yesterday fixed May 19 for sentencing of one Joey Ikwen who pleaded guilty to burying his late girlfriend without informing her family or the police.

The presiding Senior Magistrate, Anna Akobi, who said the adjournment, was to give the court time to determine the appropriate sanctions for the offence, ordered Ikwen’s remand in Keffi Prison.

Ikwen was arraigned on Friday on a one-count charge of negligent conduct.The prosecutor, Asp Peter Adams, said the deceased, Theresa Benandart, was living with the accused in his residence at Asokoro Extention, Abuja, until she took ill and died on Feb. 8.

Adams said the deceased’s uncle, Francis Benandart, reported the case at the Asokoro Police Station from where it was later transferred to the FCT Police Command, Abuja.

“Theresa died on Feb. 8 after a brief illness and her body was deposited at the General Hospital in Asokoro, Abuja. “The accused later collected her corpse and buried her without informing her parents or the police,’’ he said.

According to the prosecutor, the offence contravenes Section 196 of the Penal Code.

The accused, who appeared remorseful, narrated how he met the deceased and the efforts he made to contact her family after her death.“I met Theresa barely a month before her death, and my intention was to marry her. I was even planning to travel to Cross Rivers to see her parents but she told me they died long ago.“I insisted she took me to her grandparents living in Masaka, Nasarawa, but she refused, saying she left them over five years ago because they were maltreating her.

“When she died, there was no means of contacting her relations because the incident happened barely a month after we started dating.“In order not to abandon the corpse at the mortuary and due to the love I have for her, I had to claim it and take it for burial thinking I was doing the right thing,” he said.

His counsel, Ayim Okpoga, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saying the deceased’s friend that could have assisted him to locate her family fled on hearing about her death.

“My client was obviously in shock, and wasn’t thinking straight, having lost a loved one. This can happen to anybody.“I plead with this court to consider his age as a young man full of ambition in delivering its judgment.’’ (NAN)

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