Ikeja – Mrs O.O Salami, a defence counsel and Director at the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD), has pleaded with an Ikeja High Court to place Sodiq Abdulkareem, a 39-year-old man, charged with the murder of his sister-in-law, in a psychiatric home.

Salami made the submission while adopting her final written address during trial of Abdulkareem, a former mechanical engineering student of the University of Lagos, who is being tried for the murder of Mrs Hannah Abdulkareem, his sister-in-law.

“Our humble prayer is that the court should discharge and acquit the defendant in view of the prosecution’s failure to prove the guilt of defendant beyond reasonable doubt for the offence of murder. “The court may, however, give the necessary and appropriate order towards ensuring that the defendant is effectively and conclusively treated for the mental diseases as confirmed by exhibit D2,” Salami said.

The prosecution led by Mr Adebayo Haroun, however, in their submission, asked the court to convict Abdulkareem. “The prosecution urges the court to discountenance the argument of the defence counsel and convict the defendant as charged. “The prosecution has by evidence, established that ingredients of murder and proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant murdered the deceased,” the prosecutor insisted.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the prosecution had during the trial alleged Abdulkareem murdered his sister-in-law on Oct. 13, 2011 at 8.35 a.m. at No. 8, Olatunji St., Tioluwani Bus Stop, Ijegun, Ikotun, a Lagos suburb. “The defendant had left the campus to spend some time with his older brother, Kasheetu’s family. “On the morning of the incident, his brother was outside his apartment washing his car while his sister-in-law, a mother of three whose ages range from two to six years, was getting her children ready for school. “He launched an unprovoked knife attack on Hannah, his brother’s wife, stabbing her repeatedly in the presence of her children.

“The commotion attracted his brother into the home and he managed to ward off the defendant from his wife, who was already laying on the floor unconscious. “Kashetu rushed his spouse to the hospital but she unfortunately passed away on their way to a medical facility,” he told the court. The defence during the trial had told the court that Abdulkareem had a known medical history of paranoid schizophrenia for which he had been undergoing treatment and that the attack occurred during a psychotic episode.

The defence had also presented a Psychiatric Assessment Report from the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, to the court as evidence which was admitted as exhibit D2. Justice Sedotan Ogunsanya adjourned the case to Jan. 4, 2018 for judgment. (NAN)

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