The notorious serial killer, Gracious David-West, yesterday pleaded guilty to nine out of the 10 count charges preferred against him.
David-West was arraigned before a Rivers State High Court on a 10-count charge bordering on conspiracy and murder at the Justice Adolphous Enebeli court in Port Harcourt.
He was brought to the court on Monday but the matter was stalled due to absence of a defence counsel.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State government yesterday took over the prosecution of the suspected serial killer with the aim of ensuring that the case is prosecuted to its logical conclusion.
“My Lord, I killed all other girls in the hotels but that one in Bendel Street, which is the 10th charge. I did not have in mind to kill her, I only tied her to the chair,” the accused told the court after the charges were read to him by Rivers State Police Command.
He, however, pleaded for forgiveness after pleading guilty to nine counts out of 10, stressing that he told the court the truth so he could be forgiven, and that he committed the crimes under satanic influence.
He added that the police seized his N60,000, necklace and wristwatch, urging the court to compel the police to release the said items to him.
After the suspect pleaded guilty, the Rivers State Government, through the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Zacchaeus Adango, applied to take over the prosecution of the matter and the application was granted.
The trial judge, Justice Enebeli, granted the application of the state government, expressing readiness to give speedy hearing to the case, describing it as a very sensitive matter that needs accelerated sitting.
The judge adjourned the matter to November 18, 21, 27 and 29 and December 4, 2019, for hearing and remanded the suspect in prison.
One of the lawyers from the state Ministry of Justice, Chidi Boniface Ekeh, said the state took over the case because it is considered as a very sensitive matter.
He said: “We took over the matter to ensure that the case is prosecuted to its logical conclusion. This is a very sensitive matter and the state should not be ignored.
“The people David-West killed are human beings and the state has the right to protect the citizens and if any one goes contrary, the state wants to see that justice is done.
On his part, the defence counsel, Vincent Nwachukwu, said his team was elected on Monday during a joint meeting with the police to stand for the accused.
He said that though the matter was a capital offence, the prosecution counsel need to proof their cases, adding that the accused have good defence.