Suspected serial killer, Gracious David West, alleged to have killed more than a dozen of Women in different hotels in Rivers State and others, has made a u-turn and pleaded not guilty to the 10-count murder charge levelled against him.
West earlier pleaded guilty to nine of the 10-count charge levelled against him.
Similarly, a new suspect, Mrs. Thankgod Nimi, Manager of one of the Hotels at Bende Street in Old Port Harcourt Township also pleaded not guilty to a two-count charge of disrespect to the corpse of one of the female victims who died in her hotel.
The manager was accused of dumping the corpse of one of the alleged Gracious David West’s victims in an open dustbin along Aggrey road in Port Harcourt instead of reporting to the police.
After their pleas were taken, the presiding Judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli granted her bail in the sum of N500,000 with a verifiable sureties.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Rivers, Dr Zaccheus Adango had last week announced appearance for the State, signalling the takeover of the prosecution of the celebrated case from the police.
The Attorney General’s also amended charges for the self-confessed serial killer, David West..
The arraignment of Nimi alongside David West was based on the fresh charges supplied by the police.
During the appearance of the suspected serial killer on October 22, the state government announced the taking over of the prosecution.
In suit number PHC/3426/CR/2019, a case between the accused person and the Inspector General of Police, West was arraigned on 10-count charge bordering on conspiracy and murder.
West was alleged to have unlawfully killed several women in different hotels and guest houses in parts of Rivers State, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 319 sub 1, Cap 37. Volume 2 laws of Rivers State, 1999.
West, however, pleaded for forgiveness, after pleading guilty to nine counts out of 10 charges preferred against him by the police.
He pleaded not guilty to the last charge bordering on killing of one of the young ladies in a hotel around Bende Street in Port Harcourt, stating that he only tied the lady’s hands and legs and left her on the bed.
After West had taken his plea, the state government, through Adangor, applied to take over the prosecution of the matter, which was not opposed by the parties.
The trail judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, granted the application of the state government to take over the matter, expressing readiness to give accelerated hearing of the case.
He adjourned till November 18, 21, 27, 29 and December 4, for hearing and remanded the suspect in prison.
West had told the court that he preferred to tell the truth so that he could be pardoned, saying that he committed the crimes unconsciously.
He alleged that the police were in possession of his N60,000, necklace and wristwatch, urging the court to compel the operatives to release them to him.