Obaseki Converts Death Sentences Of Four Prisoners To Life Imprisonment, Pardons One

Governor Godwin Obaseki addressing a gathering in Abuja on July 19, 2019.


The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has converted the death sentence given to four prisoners to life imprisonment.

The governor also approved the release of one person from the Correctional Centre.

Mr Obaseki gave the approval in the exercise of the powers conferred on him under section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, on the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.

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The four Prisoners whose sentences were transmuted from death row to life imprisonment are Ayo Olofin, Abiodun Uwagboe, Sanni Ladan and Joel Ighalo; while the released inmate is one Emejor Amos.

In June 2019, Governor Obaseki approved the release of eight prisoners who were on death row and transmuted the death penalty of nine others.

Those freed were “Abu Dennis Ulubeka (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of Murder; Tirimisiyu Adebayo (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offences of conspiracy and Armed Robbery; Tajudeen Fabiyi (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offences of Conspiracy and Armed Robbery, and Olufemi Ajayi (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offences of Conspiracy and Armed Robbery.”

Others were “Charles Omowunmi (M) found guilty for the offence of murder and was ordered to be detained in prison at the pleasure of the Governor; Kalu Ojeh (M) convicted and sentenced to 21 years imprisonment on each count, both sentences to run concurrently for the offences of Conspiracy and Armed Robbery; Mathew Idoko (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offence of murder and Robinson James (M) convicted and sentenced to death for the offences of conspiracy and Armed Robbery.”

Court Jails 11 For Life Over ‘Beef’ Murder


An Indian court has sentenced 11 men to life in prison for killing a Muslim meat trader they suspected of transporting beef, in the first convictions over so-called “cow vigilantism”.

The men, including a worker from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, were found guilty of killing Alimuddin Ansari in the eastern state of Jharkhand in June 2017.

It was one of a series of attacks related to cows, which are considered sacred by Hindus.

The men were charged with murder and rioting, among other offences, under India’s penal code and a court in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district delivered its verdict on Wednesday.

“The fast-track court handed them the life sentence yesterday,” Rajesh Kumar, a senior police officer in Ramgarh told AFP by phone on Thursday.

“It is the first case in which a court has convicted and punished (perpetrators) for cow vigilantism.”

The police officer said a dozen men were arrested over the murder but the court deferred its decision on the twelfth accused who is said to be a minor.

India has witnessed a wave of rising tensions over the killing and smuggling of cows in the Hindu-majority country, where their slaughter is a punishable offence in many states, including Jharkhand.

A number of people, particularly Muslims and low-caste Dalits, have been targeted for allegedly killing cows or consuming beef.

Similar cases of cow vigilante violence are at the trial stage, according to Indian media reports.

Human Rights Watch urged law enforcers to take prompt action with credible investigations and prosecutions in the pending cases to rein in “those responsible for hate crimes”.

“The authorities still have a long way to go before they can convince religious minorities and socially marginalised communities that justice can be assured,” it said in a statement late Wednesday.

Modi’s critics say vigilantes have been emboldened by the election in 2014 of his right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which promised to completely outlaw cow slaughter across India.

The premier has condemned such vigilantism, saying murders in the name of protecting cows were unacceptable, but it has failed to deter some attackers.

In August, villagers in eastern India beat two Muslim cattle truckers to death on the pretext of protecting cows.


Kidnappers’ll Be Sentenced To Life Imprisonment Henceforth – Bauchi Govt.

The Bauchi State Government has declared that anyone arrested for kidnapping in Bauchi State will be sentenced to life imprisonment.

This announcement was contained in the newly amended law of the state, enacted by the Bauchi State House of Assembly.

Signed in March 2017 by the Governor, Muhammed Abubakar, the new law provides stiffer penalties for anyone convicted of kidnapping in the court of law.

According to the governor, the crime surge necessitated the new law.

Statistics from the state government showed that from 2016 till date, over 100 suspected kidnappers have been arrested in Bauchi state alone.

The Bauchi State Commissioner Of Justice, Ibrahim Umar, who explained further on the amended Penal Code, said: “The penalty generally speaking, is that anybody who abducts or kidnaps another individual and is found guilty, will be sentenced to life imprisonment; but if as a result of the kidnapping a life is lost, then death penalty will follow.”

Meanwhile, experts have advised the government to also address the problems that force these criminals into the act in the first place.

Civil Servant Gets Life Imprisonment For Raping Minor

Man Arraigned For Alleged Assault And Public Fight
File Photo

An Ado-Ekiti High Court on Wednesday sentenced a local government employee in Ekiti State, Ojo Ayodele, to life imprisonment for raping a minor.

Ayodele was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl in Ijero Ekiti.

The convict was said to have abducted the minor in the town and taken her to a secret location in the town where he subjected her to continuous sexual assault for 21 days.

Delivering her judgement, Justice Oluwatoyin Abodunde, found Ayodele guilty as charged and sentenced him to life imprisonment for raping the girl.

During the trial, the Director of Public Prosecution, Gbemiga Adaramola, prosecuted the case on behalf of the state while the convict was represented by his counsel, Tosin Osundahunsi.

The trial began on February 2, 2016, when Ayodele was brought to court on two counts of rape and abduction.

The prosecution called seven witnesses during the trial and tendered exhibits which include statements of the victim and the convict, medical report which established the rape, among others.

The convict did not call any witness apart from himself in the course of the trial.

A good Samaritan who saw bloodstains on the victim’s clothes after her ordeal had taken her to the Ijero Local Government Immigration office to report the case.

Ayodele was subsequently caught and arrested by immigration officers at the council secretariat as the victim identified him there as her abductor.

The immigration officers handed him to policemen at the Ijero Police Station where the case was reported.

The victim was living with her stepmother after her father and mother got divorced with the latter relocating to Port Harcourt.

She was said to have fled home allegedly due to her maltreatment by her stepmother after which she met Ayodele who promised to take care of her.

Court Sentences Falae’s Kidnappers To Life Imprisonment

Court Sentences Falae's Kidnappers To Life ImprisonmentAn Ondo State High Court has sentenced the seven persons accused of kidnapping a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Olu Falae, to life imprisonment.

Mr Falae was kidnapped on September 21, 2015, at his farm in Ilado, a rural agrarian settlement near Akure, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

He was later released by his captors after spending four days with them.

Speaking to reporters, the prosecution counsel, Mrs Adesola Adeyemi-Tuki, said that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence.

“Part of the ransom were found inside his (the first defendant) vehicle at Minna where he was tracked to. Also, some of them made confessional statements and there were other evidences that corroborated their statements,” Adeyemi-Tuki said.

The lead counsel to the accused, Abdulrahman Yusuf, however noted that his team would study the judgement to know the next step to take.

“We were able to knock out armed robbery and conspiracy, so they were left with kidnapping and the judgement for kidnapping is life imprisonment. They were convicted for kidnapping and thereby sentenced to life imprisonment, each of them,” he said.

Kaduna Govt. Proposes Life Jail For Rapists

Kaduna Govt. Proposes Life Jail For RapistsWorried by the rising cases of sexual assault against minors in Kaduna, the State Government is proposing a life jail sentence as punishment for rapists in the new Child Right Bill that has been forwarded to the State House of Assembly for passage into law.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Amina Sijuade, disclosed this during the commissioning of the Sexual Assault Reform Centre at Gwamna Awan General Hospital in the state capital.

The Commissioner explained that the decision became necessary, following incessant cases of rape, particularly of minors, being recorded frequently in the state.

The Commissioner, after commissioning the Sexual Assault Reform Centre, said that the centre would work closely with security agencies and hospitals in order to achieve the desired objective.

“The Ministry of Justice has already designated a gender desk officer who will prepare all legal documents for legal action for victims.

“Also, all the officials that will work at the centre have already been trained with support from the Department for International Development (DFID).

“This initiative will greatly help in curbing the alarming rate of violence and sexual assault against minors in the state,’’ she said.

She spoke further: “Already there is a review of the penal code for the 19 northern states. This initiative was chaired by myself together with all the attorney-generals of the 19 northern states. And in the penal code, what we did was we escalated the penalty for rape in response to calls by the public.

“What we are proposing is life imprisonment for rapists. Definitely it will help address the menace not just for minors but rape generally of both sexes. We emphasize the importance of traditional rulers in this fight, the community and religious leaders and lastly the media.

“Most of the reports on rape come from the communities where community and religious leaders are in charge, and the fight against it and sensitization cannot be successful without their help.

“So, they will be engaged in sensitizing their communities. The media is also crucial to this and we have commenced sensitization on radio and television. And we solicit for your cooperation.”

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre would be run by the Ministry of Justice, in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Social Development, Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies.

Incidences of rape are becoming rampant in Kaduna state. It is particularly disturbing that the offenders are mostly elderly men whose victims are toddlers and minors within the age range of three to six.

In most cases the suspects are related to the victims.

Generally, rape laws in a lot of countries are strictly clarified and efficient in terms of implementation. The same cannot be said of Nigeria where no capital punishment is meted against those that have been caught in such act.

Sadly, while the suspects suffer light or no punishment at all, their victims would have to contend with the trauma that comes with being a rape victim.

Christmas Day Bombing: Kabiru Sokoto Sentenced To Life Imprisonment

 A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has sentenced the mastermind of the 2011 Christmas day bombing, in Niger State, Kabiru Umar also known as Kabiru Sokoto to life imprisonment.

The incident which left 44 people dead happened at the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State when a car packed with explosives rammed into the gates of the church.

The court also found Kabiru Sokoto guilty of planning to bomb the Police Headquarters in Sokoto State.

Aside the allegation that he trained over 500 men on how to manufacture and detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the Federal Government said that he had prior knowledge that the sect planned to bomb the church on Christmas day but failed to disclose it to any law enforcement officer as soon as reasonably practicable.

He was said to have between 2007 and 2012, at Mabira Sokoto, Sokoto State, facilitated the commission of terrorist acts, including planting bombs at Police Headquarters and some government organisations in the state.

Though he was previously arrested by the Police in Abuja on January 14, 2012, he was, however, declared missing two days later.


We Will Appeal

Counsel to Kabiru Sokoto, Sherif Okoh has however expressed reservations over the court ruling.

Speaking to Channels Television after the judgment, Sherif said: “Most of the statements that he (presiding judge) called confessional, we intend to go to the Court of Appeal and sort those things out, given the fact that our arguments on law were very clear with respect to those documents.

“For instance, the witnesses that were vital, especially the one that he (the judge) referred to as Kabiru Sokoto’s boy, did not for one day appear before this honourable court. Then the statement was dated the 19th day of November 2011, whereas he was arrested on the 20th day of November 2011. That means even before he was arrested, the statement was there waiting for him.”

He also alleged that signatures were forged in some of the documents provided in court, which indicted his client, Kabiru Sokoto.


Former Argentine Military Dictator, Jorge Videla, Dies At 87

Argentina’s first military dictator, Jorge Rafael Videla, has died today at the age of 87.

The Argentine military dictator, who according to report killed thousands of dissidents from 1976 to 1983 died of natural causes while serving a sentence for human rights crimes.

Unrepentant till death concerning the kidnappings and murders ordered by the state, Videla accompanied by Emilio Massera and Orlando Agosti, led a military coup on March 24, 1976 that brought down the presidency of Isabel Peron, the widow of the renowned Argentine leader Juan Domingo Peron.

He became the first president of the dictatorship, a period marked by the disappearance of thousands of people, torture and the kidnapping of babies from people that had been illegally detained by the army.

Known as the Dirty War, the crackdown on leftist opponents left 30,000 kidnapped and murdered, according to human rights groups. Current government figures put the count closer to 11,000.

At the time, many Argentines tacitly supported the military regime.

Dozens of women began marching in Buenos Aires’ famous Plaza de Mayo public square, located right in front of government house, to demand information about their children that had disappeared. They would become known as the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a renowned human rights organisation.

Argentina came close to war with neighbouring Chile during Videla’s presidency over the sovereignty of a group of icy Patagonian islands in a border area.

But the countries also cooperated on a secret pact with other Latin American military regimes to hunt down opponents. Known as the “Operation Condor”, the accord came into effect in 1975.

When democracy returned to the South American country in 1983, Videla was sentenced to life imprisonment for the human rights crimes committed during his five years at the helm of the military junta.

But he spent just five years behind bars following a pardon granted in 1990 by then president, Carlos Menem.

Eight years later, a judge scrapped Videla’s pardon, ruling that the stealing of babies constituted a human rights crime.

Videla was jailed for life in 2010 for murder, torture and kidnapping and received an additional sentence in 2012 after being convicted of devising a plan to steal infants from the “disappeared”.