A Plateau High Court sitting in Barkin Ladi on Wednesday sentenced a 34-year-old dismissed soldier, Sunday Umaru, to death by hanging, for hacking his lover to death over a message found on her phone.
Justice S.P. Gang handed down the sentence after finding Mr Umaru guilty of killing his girlfriend, Charity Thomas, on January 23, 2016. Delivering the judgment, Mr Gang declared that Umaru “mercilessly took the life of Charity Thomas in cold blood” and had to face the full wrath of the law.
“This sentence is mandatory; the law states that any person convicted of murder shall be punished with death by hanging. The sentence of this court upon you is that you, Sunday Umaru, will be hanged by the neck until you are dead. May God have mercy on your soul,’’ Gang declared.
NAN recalls that Mr Umaru, an ex-military man, was dragged before the court on July 14, 2016, for allegedly killing his lover. Mr Umaru, a married man, was a private in the Nigerian Army and was serving at the Special Task Force (STF), Sector 7, Barkin Ladi, at the time of the incident, on January 23, 2016.
At his arraignment, Umaru faced a one-count charge of culpable homicide. He was specifically accused of killing his lover, Charity, who visited him from Kaduna, by stabbing her with a knife in the stomach, slaughtering her thereafter and dumping the body by the roadside.
According to the prosecutor, Emmanuel Awe, the accused person committed the crime on January 23, 2016, in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau. Mr Awe, while reading out the charge, said that Charity’s lifeless body was found the next day, January 24, 2016, by neighbours and some soldiers, who trailed the blood marks to the accused person’s house.
“Friends of the accused, who were the military men that evacuated the body, also recognised the girl as Umaru’s lover, who was seen with him the previous day.”
The accused, he further told the court, quickly fled his base and returned to his family at the Rukuba Barracks in Bassa Local Government. The prosecutor said that a team of military men mobilised and went after the accused and arrested him at his home in the barracks, while in the company of his family.
He said that during the investigation, the police discovered several gory pictures and videos of the deceased that the accused took in his phone, immediately after the murder.
NAN also reports that the Nigerian Army quickly tried the accused and dismissed him after finding him guilty of killing his lover. Counsel to the accused, David Adudu, told NAN after the judgment that he was not satisfied with the death sentence death passed by the court.
“I will get a copy of the judgment, study same and raise possible grounds for an appeal,” he said.