Nigerian 'serial killer' pleads guilty to 'cult-like' murders

23 October 2019 - 15:08 By afp
Gracious David West of Nigeria pleaded guilty to the murder of nine women, who he is accused of luring to hotel rooms before drugging and strangling.
Gracious David West of Nigeria pleaded guilty to the murder of nine women, who he is accused of luring to hotel rooms before drugging and strangling.
Image: 123rf.com/thawornnurak

A Nigerian man accused of strangling women after luring them to hotels in a string of cult-like killings has pleaded guilty to murder, police said on Wednesday.

Gracious David West was arrested last month after police found the bodies of at least eight women in various hotels around the oil city of Port Harcourt.

"The suspect was charged yesterday [Tuesday] with the murder of 10 women but he only accepted responsibility for the deaths of nine," Rivers state police spokesperson Nnamdi Omoni told AFP.

Omoni said West pleaded guilty to the crime and was remanded in prison until November 18 for further hearing.

"Despite pleading guilty, the trial will still have to go on because murder is a capital offence. The onus is on the prosecution to prove that the suspect actually committed the crime before the sentence can be handed down," Omoni added.

Police have said West was a confessed cult member who, after killing his victims, would wrap a white cloth material on their necks or waists.

"There is an element of cultism in all the killings in the hotels that have taken place," state police commissioner Mustapha Dandaura said last month.

"The serial killer normally drugs his victims and thereafter, he strangles them," he added.

The murders sparked outrage, prompting women to take to the streets of Port Hartcourt to demand better police protection.


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