Suspected serial killer Gracious David West has pleaded not guilty to all the 10-count charges read against him in court yesterday.
West, who is being tried before Justice Adolphus Enebeli, of a Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, for murder of nine girls in similar circumstances in several hotels in the state capital, had three weeks ago pleaded guilty in nine of the 10-count charges.
But, suddenly, he made a U-turn when the matter came up in court. He, however pleaded with the court to direct the police to release his wrist watch, money and neck chains.
He was remanded in prison by Justice Enebeli, following an oral application by counsel for the state Chidi Eke, to enable the state prove its case
Second accused person, Nimi ThankGod, also pleaded not guilty on the 11th count charge
ThankGod, who is the manager of the Tourist Guest House at 29 Bende Street, Port Harcourt, where one of the victims was killed, was being charged with conspiring to remove the corpse of the victim from the hotel and dumping it along Aggrey road.
However, ThankGod was later granted bail in the sum of N500, 000, one surety in like sum.
ThankGod’s counsel, Edward Obiokor, while applying for the bail of his client, reminded the court that the hotel manager was charged for misconduct with the corpse and not murder.
He added that she even helped to rescue one of the victims who the prime suspected also attempted to murder in the same hotel, adding that the lucky victim survived the attack and is alive.
In an interview with newsmen shortly after the sitting, the Lead Posection Officer from the state Ministry of Justice, Eke, who represented the Attorney-General, said, “David-West he was arranged before this same court for the killing of nine young women in the state, he pleaded guilty to nine of the 10 charges given to him.
“Today, he has changed his guilty plea to not guilty. However his guilty plea did not make any difference because the court will still write not guilty for him, because he is charged with capital offence.
Meanwhile, the court has adjourned the case till December 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 19 and 20, for hearing in the matter.