Journalism of Courage

Appeal Court Verdict: Former NNPC staff to be executed for killing daughter’s lover

A former employee of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Godwin Elewana, who orchestrated one of the most gruesome hate crimes in Nigeria’s history is set to be executed.

Mr. Elewana shot Douglas Ojugbo over suspicion that the victim was having an affair with his daughter, Mercy. Per Second News broke the story in 2015 shortly after the incident.

An Appeal Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, has affirmed the decision of a High Court that sentenced Mr. Elewana, to death by hanging for murder.

“Subject to Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Cross River State, any person who commits murder is sentenced to death by hanging,” said Justice Ukpa Ebitam, of the High court.

Mr. Elewana in suit No. CA/C/278C/2018 had appealed against the ruling of Calabar High Court which sentenced him to death for allegedly shooting to death a 22-year old student, Douglas Ojugbo, said to be the boyfriend of his daughter, in March 2015.

Reading the ruling of the Appeal Court on behalf of three other judges, Justice Y. Nimpar said, “The court, having gone through all the evidences and addresses by the counsel to both parties, finds the judgement of the lower court credible and therefore valid before the law.”

” We finally got justice said Ogeyi Ojugbo, elder sister to the victim while speaking with Per Second News in 2017. “We wouldn’t wish this on anyone, what we had to go through, she said.

According to Per Second News investigation at that time,the 22-year -old deceased was always seen together with his girlfriend at her father’s residence at River Basin Authority, 8 Miles, Calabar before his untimely death on March 10, 2015. It was during one of such visits to his friend, Mercy Elewana, that her father, Godwin Elewana opened fire on him for daring to defy his warnings against visiting his daughter.

The deceased was killed days to his JAMB examination.

Mr. Elewana, left and Douglas

After days of frantic search by parents and family members for their missing son, Douglas’ parents got wind that their son had been shot and driven to the Federal Housing Police Station in Calabar. On getting to the police station, the bereaved parents were not only shocked to learn their son’s corpse had been buried at the Goldie cemetery without their consent, but that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) also coerced their father, Augustine Ojugbo into signing an undertaking not to let anyone know about the incident nor make any complaint to any authority whatsoever.

But the bereaved father, a lawyer with Kanu G. Agabi & Associates said he found that absurd and went ahead to petition the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 6, Calabar and the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the cause of his son’s death and bring his murderers to justice.

The late Douglas


According to eye witness account, “the girl’s father had warned the victim not to come near the daughter again. That is what we were made to understand but the two of them could not leave each other.”

“On that fateful evening, we saw the man running after the boy who was panting and running but the man caught up with him around the basin authority gate in front of security personnel attached to the estate shooting him in the process.”  After shooting him, he dragged him into his car and drove off. All of us were running for our dear lives because, like I said, that man is dangerous and everyone around knows him for that.”


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