By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
LOKOJA – A Kogi state high court, sitting in Lokoja yesterday found a minor, Haruna Usman, guilty of killing following a case of culpable homicide brought against him punishable with death.
Chief judge of the state, Justice Nasir Ajana, while delivering his judgment over the case of culpable homicide brought against Usman, (a cattle rearer) over the death of one Happy David, found him guilty of the offence under section 221 of the penal code.
Usman, who was about 15 years when he committed the offence on July 28, 2015 was said to have stabbed David to death while grazing on the farm of the parents of the deceased.
The prosecution had told the court that the deceased, a residence of Emiworo in Ajaokuta local government of Kogi state, told the accused not to graze his cattle on the farmland, saying chemical had been sprayed on the land and could harm his (Haruna) cattle.
“But as the deceased turned to leave Usman, he stabbed David at the back and ran away”; the prosecutor had said during trial.
The mother of the deceased, who was the second prosecution witness in the matter also told the court that her son died as a result of the stabbing.
Delivering judgment, justice Ajana held that after the prosecution and the defence had presented their cases, the prosecution was able to prove his case that Usman killed David.
He said the doctor’s report presented before the court also corroborated the fact that “a penetrating object that caused the laceration had also pierced the disphram of the decease.
“I am therefore convinced from the evidence of the PW2, the picture of the deceased (exhibit 1) and the medical report (exhibit 2) tendered by the prosecution which established the fact the deceased was stabbed in his stomach area by the vicious and unprovoked act of the accused, that the said accused intended the natural consequence of his act.
“I am therefore also convinced that the prosecution has proved the third ingredient of the offence of culpable homicide beyond reasonable doubt. I therefore in the circumstance of this case find the accused guilty of the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death under section 221 of the penal code”.
Ajana however said following the evidences before him, he was convinced that the accused was a minor when he committed the offence, adding that he should await ‘governor’s pleasure’.
He said, “I shall therefore in conformity with the provision of section 272(1) of the criminal procedure code be ordering the detention of the deceased during the Governor’s pleasure. The accused shall be detained at Koton-Karfe prison where he had been during his trial, to await the Governor’s pleasure”.