"Sunday Umaru mercilessly took the life of Charity Thomas in cold blood," Justice S.P. Gang said, as he read the judgement to a court that was now as silent as a graveyard. 

He was a married man and a Private in the Nigerian Army. 

Umaru was serving at the Special Task Force (STF), Sector 7, Barkin Ladi, at the time of the incident, on January 23, 2016. 

But his service ended after that incident and on Wednesday a Plateau High Court sitting in Barkin Ladi sentenced the 34-year-old man to death by hanging, for hacking his lover to death over a message found on her phone.

Justice Gang found Umaru guilty of killing his girlfriend.

Delivering the judgement, Gang declared that Umaru 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.

Umaru, an ex-military man, was dragged before the court on July 14, 2016, for allegedly killing his lover.

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 road side.

According to the prosecutor, Emmanuel Awe, the accused person committed the crime in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau.

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.”

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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 investigation, the police discovered several gory pictures and videos of the deceased that the accused took in his phone, immediately after the murder.

The Nigerian Army quickly tried the accused and dismissed Umaru after after finding him guilty of killing his lover.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that after the judgement, Counsel to the accused, Mr David Adudu, told reporters that he was not satisfied with the death sentence death passed by the court.

“I will get a copy of the judgement, study same and raise possible grounds for an appeal,” he said. 

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