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Launderer in court for killing friend during fight

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The trial of a 35-year-old man, Michael Akpan, accused of killing his friend, Nse Daniel, continued at the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, on Wednesday, as the prosecution presented a police witness before the court.

The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions was represented by Mr. M.O. Olateju and Mr. A.O. Kuku.

Akpan was accused of stabbing 27-year-old Daniel in the neck on January 2 during a visit to the house of their mutual friend, James Essien, to celebrate the New Year. The prosecution had earlier brought two witnesses and presented its third witness on Wednesday to establish its case against the defendant.

The third witness, Mr Adeniyi Sola of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, said the defendant was brought to the SCID in January 2020 from the Itire Police Station on the charge of murder.

According to him, the defendant confessed to killing his friend in his statement.

Sola also established that officers from the SCID visited the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, to see the corpse and investigate the cause of death.

Similar to the narrative of the prosecution, the defendant, in his statement, said he went out after eating during the New Year celebration at Essien’s house and saw the deceased waiting for him.

He claimed that Daniel confronted him after the torchlight they were using was turned off during the meal, which escalated into a fight.

Akpan stated that the deceased attacked him with a broken bottle before he collected it and stabbed him (Daniel) in the neck in retaliation.

However, Essien, in his statement, said he saw Akpan stabbing himself with the bottle after using it on Daniel.

“I heard a loud noise and when I looked back, it was Akpan that stabbed Daniel with a bottle in the neck; he ran inside a canal and I followed him.

“He followed us to take Daniel to a hospital and I later handed him over to the police. Akpan also cut himself,” the statement read.

The prosecution tendered all written statements of the defendant and the witnesses before the court.

The defence counsel, Mr Amala Umeike, raised no objections.

The statements and documents were adopted by the court, as the judge, Justice S.I. Osonaike, adjourned the matter till June 21.

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