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Kogi electrician bags death sentence for killing colleague

By Esther Kalu

A High Court in Kogi has sentenced an Electrician, Muritala Dare to death by hanging  on a charge that found him guilty of stabbing his colleague to death with a broken bottle.

Dare was said have caused the death of his colleague, Lukman Karim, by  stabbing him on the neck and hand with a broken bottle with an alleged intention of causing his death and thereby committed an offence.

The presiding Justice, Josiah Majebi,  was said to have found the accused guilty after considering his involvement in the murder incident that occurred on Aug. 16, 2020 around the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) area of the Lokoja metropolis.

Majebi stated that Dare was charged for the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death under Section 221 (a) and (b) of the Kogi State Penal Code, adding that to prove that the defendant committed the offence, the prosecutor called three witnesses and tendered seven exhibits, which included the defendant’s confessional statement, a Coroners Ordinance (Chapter) Report of Medical Practitioners and a Nigeria Police Post-Mortem Examination report dated 19th August, 2020.

Upon examination of the pieces of evidence presented before the court and particularly relying on the confessional statement made by the defendant, Majebi was said to have averred that a confession is an admission at any time by a person charged with a crime stating or suggesting that he committed the crime, adding that it was adequate for passing his judgement.

“Thus while concluding that the entire case of the prosecution was built on the confessional statement of the defendant, which though he tried effortlessly to deny during the trial, the statements he made during the course of investigating the matter were adequate to rely upon in passing the judgment.”  he said.

He further said that there were sufficient reasons to arrive at the conclusion that the evidence contained in the statements made by the defendant were convincing enough even outside his confessional statement, adding that all these essential ingredients were already manifest in the matter and supported by other evidence as he  found the defendant guilty of the charge of culpable homicide and convicted him accordingly.

“Premised on the above findings, I hold that the prosecution has proved all the ingredients of the charge against the defendant and thereby raising the presumption of guilt against him in respect of the charge. That you, Dare Murtala, is hereby sentenced to death for the offence of culpable homicide for which you are convicted. The sentence of this Court upon you is that you will be hanged by neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy upon your soul,” he said.

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