A Katsina State High Court, sitting in Malumfashi, on Thursday, sentenced two middle-aged men, Usman Baba-Muhammad and Muhammad Hassan to 10 years in prison each for homicide.
The convicts, residents of Liman street Narayi and Unguwar Dosa in Kaduna metropolis respectively, were members of a notorious “one chance’’ syndicate, operating along Kaduna to Katsina and Zaria to Funtua highways.
According to the charge sheet, the convicts, on Sept. 23, 2012 while in company of one Alhaji Ibrahim Suleiman, now deceased, and two others who are still at large, strangled and caused the death of a passenger, Alhaji Shu’aibu Isah, a trader.
Prosecuting Counsel, Aminu Garba, had earlier told the court that circumstantial evidences led to the arrest of the convicts.
He said that the convicts were apprehended following a vehicle accident immediately after they had committed the offence.
Garba said that the convicts used a cloth to strangulate Isah to death after they robbed him of his valuables and an unspecified amount of money and threw him away on the road.
The prosecutor also said the robbery constituted a separate offence, contrary to section 1(2) (B) of the robbery and firearms Act, Cap R11, Law of the federation.
When the case was first mentioned on Aug. 16, 2013, the convicts pleaded not guilty to the charge for which their Counsel, Mr U. D. Faruk, from the Legal Aid Council, argued in their defence.
Delivering judgment, Justice Abbas Bawale said the prosecution, led by Garba, had successfully established the case of culpable homicide punishable under Section 224 of the Penal Code Law against the convicts.
Bawale also said that the prosecution counsel led six witnesses and tendered six exhibits including the convicts’ confessional statements, a clothing rag used to strangulate the victim along with a measure of maize belonging to the deceased during the trial.
However, the judge said that the prosecution was unable to prove the charge of robbery as the money and the car used to perpetrate the offence were not tendered before the court in evidence as required by law.
He, therefore, discharged the convicts on the charge of robbery accordingly.
Bawale then sentenced the convicts to 10 years in prison each without an option of fine.
The judge also ordered that the term to be served by Hassan would start from the day of first arraignment because he was remanded.
He, however, said that Baba-Muhammad’s term would run from the date of judgment, on the grounds that he was on bail.