A High Court in Port Harcourt has ordered a pastor, Chidiebere Okoroafor, to be executed by hanging or lethal injection for the murder of three persons.
Okoroafor, who is the General Overseer of the Altar of Solution and Healing Assembly based in Oyigbo, Rivers State, was convicted of killing his choir mistress, Orlunma Nwagba, who he allegedly impregnated, and her friend, Chigozie Ezenwa, and her eleven-month-old daughter, Cresabel, on December 11, 2017.
The trial judge, S.O. Benson, said the evidence and confessional statements from the pastor showed that he committed the crimes.
Justice Benson said the prosecution proved the case of murder against the cleric beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced him to death.
According to reports, the women had visited the pastor’s house in Oyigbo for a discussion on the pregnancy when he lured them into a bush and killed them in two different locations.
The Rivers State Police Command had arrested Okoroafor on December 17, 2017, following an alarm raised by Ezenwa’s husband over the disappearance and killing of his wife and daughter.
While speaking to newsmen after the judgment, the prosecution counsel from the state Ministry of Justice, Precious Ordu, expressed satisfaction over the verdict.
He said justice has been served to the state, the complainant and the convict.
He also said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to all those who intend to commit such heinous crimes.
However, the defence counsel, Innocent Ekwu, said he and his team will appeal the judgment.
He said they have grounds to believe that the defendant did not commit the offence.