Woman in Nigeria receives death penalty by hanging for the murder of an Enugu makeup artist, as per court ruling

An Enugu State High Court has rendered a verdict of death by hanging for Chiamaka Ifezue, convicted of murdering makeup artist Ijeoma Nneke. Presided over by Honourable Justice Kenneth Okpe, the court issued its two-hour judgment on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, after finding Ifezue guilty of forcing Nneke to ingest a poisonous substance, resulting in her death.

The tragic saga began when Ijeoma Nneke disappeared on November 11, 2020, after setting out for a job. Her mutilated remains were discovered around Maryland in Enugu metropolis on November 16. This led to the arrest and subsequent arraignment of Ifezue and her brother, Chukwuemeka, on charges of conspiracy and murder.

The prosecution accused the siblings of coercing Nneke into consuming a lethal substance, ultimately causing her demise. Allegedly, they disposed of her body in the Maryland area of Enugu and applied a corrosive substance, believed to be acid, to conceal their crime.

Throughout the trial, Chukwuemeka’s defense counsel, Mr. Chuma Oguejiofor, submitted a no-case plea, resulting in his discharge by Justice Okpe due to insufficient evidence linking him to the crime.

However, the court found Chiamaka Ifezue culpable of Nneke’s murder beyond a reasonable doubt, affirming the prosecution’s argument led by Chinelo Chigbo. Consequently, Ifezue received a death sentence by hanging.

During the proceedings, the court admitted police exhibits pertaining to the alleged murder, presented by Prosecution Witness 7, Sgt. Udeze Oguguo, from the Independence Layout Police Division in Enugu. Recovered from the crime scene, these exhibits included currency, electronic devices, makeup tools belonging to the deceased, and the key to a Toyota Metrix car allegedly used to transport Nneke’s body.

Sgt. Oguguo also provided hard copies of WhatsApp and text messages exchanged by Nneke with her fiancé and a friend while at the scene of the crime.

The verdict delivered by the Enugu State High Court underscores the gravity of Ifezue’s actions and seeks to administer justice for the tragic loss of Ijeoma Nneke’s life. The court’s meticulous consideration of evidence and adherence to legal procedures affirm the commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring accountability for heinous crimes.

As the legal process concludes, the memory of Ijeoma Nneke serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact of violence and the imperative of safeguarding individuals’ rights to safety and security. The sentencing of Chiamaka Ifezue not only brings closure to this harrowing chapter but also signals a resolute stance against criminality and the protection of innocent lives within Nigerian society.

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