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Court frees nurse accused of killing housemaid


The 55-year-old nurse, who was accused of murdering her househelp by setting her alight was on Wednesday discharged and acquitted by an Ikeja High Court.
The court discharged and acquitted  Nkese Iroakasi due to the failure of the prosecution to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Iroakasi, was facing a charge of murdering Eno  Bassey 9, at her residence located at No.7, Adeniran Ogunsanya St., Surulere, Lagos at 2.30pm on July, 27, 2013.
Justice Raliatu Adebiyi said “the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the deceased died as a result of the defendant’s action.

“The defendant, Nkese Iroakasi, is hereby found not guilty of the one-count charge of murder against her.
“She is hereby discharged and acquitted and shall be released forthwith from custody.”

The prosecution had alleged during the trial that Iroakasi had set Bassey alight over an allegation that she (Bassey) stole a piece of meat.
According to the prosecution led by Mrs R.O Ahmed-Muili, Bassey, after being set ablaze had run outside on the streets and the flames on her body were doused by passersby whom she allegedly told that her boss set her alight because of theft.
She succumbed to her burn injuries 10-days after the alleged incident at the Gbagada General Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos.

Five witnesses-a security guard, an architect who was a passerby, two police officers, and a medical doctor while testifying during the trial, claimed that the child kept on muttering “mummy”, indicative of the fact that she identified Iroakasi as her assailant.

Iroakasi, however, while testifying in her defense on March 20, denied the claims of the prosecution.
According to her, Bassey had set herself alight while playing with the kerosene stove in the kitchen.
“I was lying down and resting in the living room because I was due for the night shift at work.
“I heard a loud noise from the direction of the kitchen and Eno who was on fire, ran into the living room and into the streets,” she said.

Adebiyi in her judgment, noted that that the evidence of the prosecution was not strong enough to secure a conviction.
She said: “All the prosecution witnesses were not eye witnesses to the murder, so none of them saw how the deceased sustained her injuries,” the judge ruled.
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