Magistrate Marke Ngegba of Pademba Road Court on Friday 24 March 2023, committed the murder case against the former Managing Director (MD) of Skye Bank, Ikubolaje Nicol to the High Court for trial.
According to the report, the decision to commit the matter to the High Court was reached after the prosecution closed its case. However, the defense counsel presented a no-case submission.
The accused allegedly conspired with other unknown persons to murder Sinnah Kai Kargbo; between 15th and 16th October 2022, at Leicester in the Western area
The police also alleged that the accused person, on 17 October 2022, at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), fabricated evidence with the intent to pervert the course of justice.
However, Lawyer Roland Wright had earlier argued that it was not appropriate to have tendered the death certificate of the deceased by somebody that is not the maker. Adding that opportunity was not been given for that piece of evidence to be tested.
He, therefore, described the photocopy of the death certificate as an opinion rather than a fact. Lawyer Wright urged the Court to disregard it; describing the claim made by the prosecution as a figment of imagination.
He also told the Court that the prosecution has failed to establish a case of murder against the accused; noting that the accused was still alive when she was brought to the hospital. He explained that where there’s strangulation, the person dies between 5 -7 minutes.
The defense counsel noted that neither the doctor nor the nurse ever told the court that Sinnah had injuries. He added that there was no evidence before the Court that the deceased screamed for help on the night of the incident.
He further stated that there was no mention of sexual activity. At this stage, the accused was in tears. Lawyer Wright remarked that the prosecution has not put forward any evidence to prove to the court that the accused murdered the deceased, adding that there was no intent to the offense.
He also mentioned that the only evidence before the Court was that the accused was in a love relationship with the deceased; noting that they were having fun when the incident occurred.
Lawyer Wright also argued that dead people are usually not taken into wards inside a hospital. “The fact that a nurse alerted her colleagues to prepare the ICU of the hospital after several minutes of check-ups suggest that the deceased was still alive,” he asserted.
The defense counsel disclosed that the doctor and nurse who attended to the patient had testified before the court about foaming in the mouth which was a result of excessive fluid in the lungs. “It will appear that the cause of death certificate was predetermined; hence, the reason the author did not come before the court to be tested,” lawyer Wright told the Court.
Furthermore, in reply, State Prosecutor A.G.M. Bockarie said that Wright was trying to give the court a jurisdiction that it doesn’t have in a preliminary investigation. ‘By law, he said when evidence is inconsistent; the magistrate should commit the matter to the higher court,’ he maintained. lawyer Bockarie added that there are classical precedents of convicting a murder accused in the absence of a cause of death report.