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Drug addict son in Niger State sets mother on fire, bags death sentence

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Drug addict son in Niger State sets mother on fire, bags death sentence

Chief Judge of Niger State, Justice Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik, has sentenced a middle-aged man, Stephen Jiya, to death by hanging for the horrific murder of his biological mother, Mrs Comfort Jiya.

Justice Abdulmalik handed the sentence to the convict at the Minna High Court 1 in Niger State.

The deceased, a former principal of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Sabon Wuse, and Maryam Babangida Girls’ Science College, Minna, tragically lost her life after Stephen, reportedly a drug addict, sets her on fire in the kitchen of her residence in the Darusalam Area of Minna.

READ ALSO: Gombe teenager confesses to killing mother of 8 in her residence

Immediately after the brutal act on Monday, December 20, 2021, neighbours rushed Comfort to General Hospital Minna, where she was later transferred to another medical facility. Despite efforts to save her, she succumbed to her injuries.

Following his confession to the crime, Stephen was apprehended by the state Criminal Intelligence Department (SCID) of the Police Command, and he was formally charged under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law, which carries a death penalty upon conviction.

The legal proceedings commenced on November 22, 2022, and concluded with Justice Halima Abdulmalik delivering the ruling on Wednesday, December 13, 2023.

The court found Stephen guilty of culpable homicide punishable under section 221 of the penal code law, as established by the prosecutor and all the evidence and testimonies presented.

In her submission, Justice Halima Abdulmalik reiterated that the convict’s responsibility for the crime was undeniably proven by the prosecuting witnesses, leaving no doubt in her mind about his guilt.

She further emphasised that the case was proved beyond every reasonable doubt, leading to the conviction and subsequent death penalty for the defendant.

“On the whole, the prosecutor has proved its case beyond every reasonable doubt against the defendant and I hereby found you Stephen Jiya guilty of the offence of culpable homicide with death under section 221 of the penal code accordingly.

In an emotionally laden voice, Justice Halima Abdulmalik asked the convict, “What do you have to say before I pass my sentence on you”?

The convict pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy saying, “I am a family man. I have a wife and children.

“Give me a second chance and I will be a product of a good society. My Lord have mercy on me. Temper justice with Mercy and I promise to change for good,” he pleaded.

In her judgement, which lasted for over one hour, Justice Halima Abdulmalik said her hands are tied because the punishment for culpable homicide as stipulated by law is death.

“In the circumstances, the sentence of the Court upon you is that you should be hanged by the neck, electrocuted, executed or injected with lethal injection until you are dead. May the Lord have mercy on your soul,” the Chief Judge submitted.

A total of six witnesses including two members of his family and his younger sister testified against him during the trial.

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