Policeman to die by hanging for culpable homicide

Justice Jude Okeke of the FCT High Court on Tuesday sentenced a policeman, Samuel Tarkaa, to death for culpable homicide.

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Tarkka was arraigned on a count charge of intention of causing such body injury as it was likely to cause death and indeed caused the death of one Andrew Osuagwu.

Tarkaa on Nov. 24, 2010 at Kado Village, Abuja, caused the death of Osuagwu by lifting him up and hitting his head on the ground.

This contravened Sections 220 and punishable under Section 221 of the Penal Code.

Okeke in his judgment held that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt all the three ingredients of the offence of culpable homicide as provided for in Section 220 of the Penal Code.

“In the circumstances, the court finds the defendant guilty of the charge of causing the death of Andrew Osuagwu on the 24th of November 2010, he is accordingly convicted.

“Before the court pronounces sentence on the defendant, given that allocutus is not applicable in view of the mandatory nature of the sentence.

“It needs be said that the defendant came to his present circumstances on the account of apparent abuse of power and unbridled show of might.

He said that police officers who under the law are to perform the duties of detecting, apprehending offenders and protecting lives and property of citizens end up oppressing, brutalising, even killing them.

He said that Section 222 of the Penal Code was not applicable here in view of the absence of any evidence or contention by the defendant that he caused the deceased’s death.

“In the light of the above, the punishment for the offence of culpable homicide which the defendant has been convicted of is mandatory death sentence.

“The court does not have discretion to impose any other punishment much as it may; the law must be fulfilled at all times and in all situations.

“The defendant having been convicted for the offence of culpable homicide punishable under Section 221 of the Penal Code as charged is sentenced to death.

“The sentence of the court upon you is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead.’

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