Accused Person Threatens To Kill Witnesses In Court
Nothing could portray impunity more than a person accused of murder threatening witnesses in a court of law.
A High Court in Jos had opened hearing on a case of criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, robbery and possession of firearms against Tasiu Mohammed when the accused person threatened to kill the witness.
Justice Rifkatu Sha, who was alerted of the threat by security officials in court, warned the accused person against threatening witnesses testifying against him.
Mohammed, 21, had made gestures indicating that he would slash the throats of the witnesses, while they stood in the dock.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the police, witnesses and officials of the court noticed the threats.
“You are only lucky that the prosecuting counsel did not pray the court to convict you (accused) for contempt, otherwise I would have descended on you.
“I will only warn you to desist from threatening witnesses in the court. If you repeat it, I will start by sentencing you to 14 strokes of the cane,” she said.
Mohammed, along with two others – Saidu Mohammed, 19 and Umar Shehu 23 – were first arraigned on February 13, charged with criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, robbery and possession of firearms.
The police prosecutor, Mr O. S. Osho of the State Criminal Investigation Department, at the arraignment, told the court that the accused persons committed the crime on September 23, 2016 at Clark Quarters, Bukuru in Jos.
He Killed A Man
Osho quoted the accused persons as telling the police, in a confessional statement, that they killed a man, who approached them for help.
“The accused persons confessed that the deceased, who came into Jos at about 7:00 p.m on the said date, approached them to direct him to where he could lodge, before proceeding on his journey the next day.
“The accused persons said that they promised to help, but on realising that the stranger had money on him, they misled him to an uncompleted building where they killed him.
“They further said that after killing him, they dumped his body in a well in the uncompleted building, and made away with his money.”
Osho further quoted the accused as saying that luck, however, ran out on them when a woman, who resides in the quarters, heard screams emanating from the building, and rushed to check.
“The accused persons also told the police that they ran out of the building on sighting the woman, but that she went in and saw blood everywhere.
“The curious woman checked further and saw the corpse of the unknown man dumped in a well in the building,” the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor said that the woman raised an alarm and reported the matter to the community head.
Osho told the court that the woman recognised the accused persons, while they were fleeing from the scene, as the same boys that had been terrorising the community over time.
The prosecutor, however, said that the identity of the deceased was still unknown as no form of identification was found on him, while the corpse had not been claimed by anyone.
During the arraignment, however, the prosecutor also alleged that the first accused, Tasiu Mohammed, had committed the same crime sometime in 2014, when he was 18 years old.
Osho said that Mohammed was then tried as a juvenile, found guilty and convicted for murder.
He said that Mohammed, however, escaped from the juvenile home after some months and relocated to Abuja and had only relocated back to Jos, when he committed the same crime and was arrested.
The prosecutor added that the accused persons’ action contravened the provision of section 221 of the Penal Code and was punishable with death, on conviction.