Gracious David-West Nigerian Serial Killer Sentenced To Die In Port Harcourt

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Gracious David-West Nigerian Serial Killer Sentenced To Die In Port Harcourt

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 die 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.

How was he caught?

At the beginning of the case and unrepresented by a counsel, David-West had pleaded guilty to the murders but the judge demanded a trial because of the “gravity of the crime”.

At the time, authorities had suspected that he was working with accomplices but could not find any evidence as the case went to trial.

At the height of the killings in September last year, outraged citizens of Port Harcourt took to the streets, calling on authorities to solve the murders.

He was arrested on 19 September while trying to leave Port Harcourt as investigators closed in on him.

https://www.bbc.com

CCTV had captured him leaving a hotel and the circulated photo went viral on social media.

Security agents found him in a commercial bus travelling to Uyo in Akwa Ibom state, 45 minutes away from Port Harcourt.

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What do we know about the killer?

David-West was born in the fishing town of Buguma in Rivers state, an oil-producing coastal community known for its beaches.

The town has a history with oil militants who operated out of its numerous mangrove swamps at the height of the oil militancy in Nigeria’s Niger Delta in the early 2000s.

Gracious David-West Nigerian Serial Killer Sentenced To Die In Port Harcourt

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