The Supreme Court on Friday in Abuja affirmed the death sentence of one Muazu Ali of Funtua, Katsina State, who was condemned to death by hanging for causing the death of one Garba Namuri by striking his head with an axe on April 17, 2004.
A Katsina State High Court had tried and found Ali guilty of the crime of culpable homicide and convicted and sentenced him to death on March 19, 2009, pursuant to the provisions of Section 221 of the Penal Code.
The Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division, in its judgment of May 27, 2011, also affirmed the appellant’s conviction and sentence, following which he approached the Supreme Court.
Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, who led the five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court, held that the trial and appellate courts were right in their decisions, and dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
Ogunbiyi said: “The death sentence pronounced on the appellant is, hereby, affirmed.
“The concurrent findings of the two lower courts are supported by credible evidence and did not result in any miscarriage of justice on the appellant, and so I hold.
“On the totality of this appeal and with all the issues A, B, C and D resolved against the appellant, the same is, hereby, dismissed as lacking in merit.’’
The court said that the totality of the evidence placed by the prosecution before the trial court was greatly sufficient and supporting the conviction of the appellant for the offence he was charged for.
The apex court further held that no shred of evidence was adduced by the appellant to `dislodge’ the account of Namuri’s murder by the star witness, which it said, was “not a tainted witness, but a credible witness of truth.’’
It would be recalled that the appellant was arraigned for causing Namuri’s death by striking his head with an axe on April 17, 2004, when he was lying asleep under a tree, following a quarrel.
At the hearing of the appeal before the apex court on February 15, 2015, Mr Adeniyi Kazeem, Ali’s counsel, had argued that the prosecution failed to prove the case against his client beyond reasonable doubt.
Kazeem had urged the court to allow the appeal and set aside the decisions of the two courts below and set his client free.
The prosecution counsel, led by Katsina State Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Sadiya Umar, urged the apex court to discountenance the appeal and affirm the conviction and sentence by the two lower courts.
Umar maintained that the totality of the evidence adduced by the prosecution before the trial High Court was enough to sustain the conviction of the appellant.