Niger CJ sentences man to death by hanging for burning mother to death

A Minna High Court 1 presided by the Chief Judge (CJ) of Niger State, Justice Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik, has sentenced Stephen Jiya who set his biological mother on fire leading to her death by hanging.

Delivering her ruling, the CJ said the convict was found guilty of culpable homicide punishable under Section 221 of the penal code law.

Recall that Jiya, a resident of the Suleja area of the state visited his mother’s resident, Comfort Jiya, a retired Director in the Niger State Ministry of Education who lived in Dutsen-Kura, Minna and set her ablaze using a bottle of petrol he found in her kitchen on 20 December, 2021.

The mother was rushed to the General Hospital Minna by neighbours, she was later transferred to another medical facility, where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries.

The defendant was immediately picked by the state Criminal Intelligence Department (SCID) of the Police Command for interrogation, and he confessed to the crime, alleging that he had killed his mother for interfering in his marital issues.

Jiya was earlier arraigned before a magistrate court by the SCID operatives on provisional charges while awaiting legal advice from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for proper prosecution in a competent court.

The DPP formally charged him on September 14, 2022, before Justice Halima Abdulmalik of High Court 1, under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law which provides a death penalty if found guilty.

The hearing commenced on November 23, 2022, and Justice Abdulmalik then scheduled the final decision on the matter for December 13, 2023.

In her ruling on Wednesday, Justice Abdulmalik noted that the prosecutor had proved the case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, adding that she was convinced by all the testimonies of the prosecuting witnesses.

“According to her, ” All the crimes levelled against the convict were established by the prosecutor, and all the evidence and prosecuting witnesses who testified before the court were able to prove that the convict was responsible for the killing of his mother”.

She further stated, ” On the whole, the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the defendant and I hereby find you, Stephen Jiya, guilty of the offence of culpable homicide, which is contrary to Section 221 of the penal code accordingly.”

“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, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul”.

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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