Man, 24, changes guilty plea at Lagos court to “stave off” sentence

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Lagos  –   A 24-year-old, Sunday Michael, who had pleaded guilty to stabbing nine people with a broken bottle at a Lagos hotel, on Tuesday changed his plea just before the magistrate’s verdict.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Michael was charged before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court on June 2 and was remanded in prison after pleading guilty to the charge.

The court had fixed Tuesday for facts and sentence.

However, when the Magistrate, Mr A.A. Adesanya, was about to pronounce judgment, the accused suddenly changed his plea, claiming he earlier pleaded guilty because he did not understand the charge.

Adesanya, therefore, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties and adjourned the case to July 5 for mention.

Michael, a vulcaniser of No. 53, Oshodi Road, Mafoluku in Oshodi area of Lagos, was arraigned on a two-count charge of breach of peace and assault.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. George Nwosu, said the accused committed the offences on April 3 at Marina Hotel, Alagbado, a suburb of Lagos.

He said the accused beat and stabbed a man, Wasiu Adenekan, with a broken bottle.

“The accused stabbed the victim all over his body with the broken bottle.”

Nwosu said the accused also caused a breach of the peace by chasing away the hotel’s customers.

“There was a night show at the hotel and suddenly, the accused, who was drunk, started chasing the people with a broken bottle.

“Everybody started running helter-skelter, but he succeeded in stabbing eight customers with a broken bottle.

“The accused also pursued the complainant and when the complainant fell, he caught up with him and stabbed him several times.

“The complainant, who lost blood, fainted and he is still lying critically at a hospital,” he told the court.

According to Nwosu, the accused also damaged 28 plastic chairs and tables as well as five crates of empty bottles, all valued at N47,400.

The offences contravened Sections 166 and 171 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, with Section 171 prescribing a three-year jail term as penalty for offenders. (NAN)

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