A man who killed nine women in a case that caused outrage in Nigeria has been sentenced to death in the southern city of Port Harcourt.
Prosecutors say 40-year-old Gracious David-West strangled his victims in hotel rooms across Nigeria between July and September 2019.
Justice Adolphus Enebeli said he is to death by hanging. The death penalty is not commonly carried out in Nigeria – the last three executions were in 2016.
One of his victims survived the attack, but was not a witness during the trial. Authorities say her whereabouts are unknown despite being told not to leave the state.
The judge found him guilty of attempted murder on that charge.
Police say he also confessed to the murders of six other women elsewhere but he was not charged for those murders for lack of evidence. Authorities say the pattern of the murders point to a serial killing – he had sex with his victims before binding their arms and feet with strips of white sheets.
He also used sheets to strangle them, the court heard. Several of his victims were sex workers.
Below is the Press Release By the Rivers State House of Assembly;
JUSTICE AT LAST: SERIAL KILLER, GRACIOUS DAVID-WEST SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING.
On behalf of the Rivers State House of Assembly ad hoc committee saddled with the responsibility of unravelling serial killings that occurred in the state in 2019, of which I served as its chairman, I commend all those who ensured that the victims of Gracious David-West finally got justice.
When this serial killer was on the prowl, there was apprehension in the entire state, because no one knew who will be his next victim. An ugly development that made the house to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the menace, which was chaired by my humble self; we swung into action immediately, and the suspect was arrested and charged to court.
Just as you all know, Gracious David-West has been found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. A landmark judgement delivered by Justice Adolpus Enebele of the Rivers State High Court, Port Harcourt.
This would serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements in our society. If they do not turn over a new leaf and become law abiding citizens, they would be brought to book, because Rivers State Government is determined to protect lives and properties.
Finally, I can assure you that, Rivers State can longer experience anything as serial killings in our hotels, because the bill I sponsored on the floor of the house tagged, INN KEEPERS AND HOTEL PROPRIETORS BILL will address all the loopholes that Gracious David-West relied on to murder those young ladies.
Hon. Kelechi Nwogu
Member representing Omuma Constituency in Rivers State House of Assembly.
October 9, 2020