Mrs. Taiwo Momoh – the 58 year old textile merchant who attempted suicide on Friday, March 24, 2017, at 11:25 am, by Lagos lagoon – was discharged by Ebute Meta (Lagos) magistrate court on Thursday, June 1, on the advice of the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
Mr. Tajudeen Elias, the magistrate, discharged the accused after a prosecutor from the Lagos Ministry of Justice (Mrs. A.T. Olaleye) announced the DPP’s stance.
Mrs. Momoh had tried to kill herself after losing N18.7 million to a bureau de change operator who eloped. The money, part of her debts to Swiss creditors, was stolen in 2015.
Her shop on Lagos island was burgled thereafter, compounding her woes. Losing sleep and faith, her son also abandoned her. From being a moslem, she converted to Christianity…but her travails didn’t disappear.
As she removed her shoes, wrapped her clothes around her and tried to jump into the lagoon that Friday morning, she was rescued by the Rapid Response Squad.
Arrested and detained, she was docked. With the likelihood of imprisonment or pardon, she’s lucky to be discharged.
The Criminal Code Act of 2004 states in section 327: “Any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.”
But the sympathetic Lagos Criminal Laws of 2011, section 233, reads: “Any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a simple offence, and the court shall make a hospitalisation order.”
More than sympathy worked in the case of Mrs. Taiwo Momoh…