[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-------worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jan 10 22:36:57 CST 2006
Appeal Court Upholds Death Sentence
Attempt by the duo of Bayo Ajia and Olayinka Are, both arch supporters of
former Governor Muhammad Lawal of Kwara State to escape from the hangman's
noose received a jolt as the Appeal Court has upheld the death sentence
passed last year on them by a High Court of Justice in the state.
Accused of murdering Abdul Yekini Gobir and Abdul Ganiyu Hussein at a
night party at Deens Motel, Ilorin the lower court with Justice Jopseph
Fola Gbadeyan had found the 2 accused persons guilty and pronounced death
sentence on them or in the alternative receive the amnesty of the state
governor, Bukola Saraki.
The duo were said to have invaded the venue of the party in unmarked cars
and after dispersing the crowd shot the 2 men to death allegedly for being
supporters of the former governor's political opponents and ensured that
they were dead before taking leave of them.
Ajia and Are had been charged for criminal conspiracy and culpable
homicide which led to the death of Gobir and Hussein at a wedding party at
Deens Motel along Western Reservoir Road, Ilorin on June 30, 2002.
Apparently dissatisfied with the judgment, the 2 had approached the Appeal
Court for a review but in a unanimous decision, the appellate court threw
out their prayers and instead upheld the decision of the lower court on
The appeal court decision, read by Justice John Ikomgbeh said the defence
of alibi raised by the 2 accused persons could not be sustained and that
the evidence of the 2 prosecution witnesses had in no way been faulted
while the brother of the slain Gobir who was the PW1 during the trial in
particular could not be treated as a tainted witness as demanded by the
The appeal court also said the trial judge treated all the evidences
adduced before it by both parties with caution and there were no reasons
to uphold the appellants' position on the matter.
Ikomgbeh was supported by his brother judges, Justice Muhammad Coomasie
and Justice Tojani Abdullahgi in the decision.
At the trial court, Justice Gbadeyan had said the court was convinced by
the arguments of prosecution that the accused were responsible for the
death of AbdulYekin Gobir and Abdul Ganiyu Hussein on June 30,2002.and
convicted them of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide punishable
with death, contrary to Sections 221 and 97 of the Penal Code.
"I see them as first offenders as there is no record against them, but
this 1st time is too serious" the judge had said after he had listened to
the plea of allocutus by defence counsel Hussein Buhari who wanted the
maximum punishment reduced to imprisonment.
The court said further: "The court will be failing in its duty if it
allows fanciful defences to prevail in matters like this. Punishments are
prescribed to be imposed. These are young people, I cannot say they are
misguided. I se them as first offenders but this first time is too
serious. Hence the law has to take its course. The two convicts are
sentenced to death.
They are to be hanged until they be dead and may God have mercy on their
While the prosecution called three witnesses; the brother of one of the
slain and the 2 policemen who handled the case, the defence called 2
The accused persons also gave testimony for themselves in which they
denied involvement in the crime.
The judge stated that the onus of criminal cases rests on the prosecution
and citing several resolved cases, added that the ingredients of the
offence must be proved to secure conviction. These conditions, he noted
were met by the prosecution as he also noted that the defence counsel did
not controvert the eyewitness accounts of PW1 with the alibi of his
On the 1st charge of criminal conspiracy preferred against the accused,
the lower court judge said that the burden is on the prosecution to prove
the rudimentary nature of the offences with the marriage of the mind of
the accused and the ingredients of their complicity.
He said: "It is certain that there was a night party and that the accused
persons carried guns and fired shots. I find the testimony of PW1 credible
and since there was no effort to controvert his testimony, I find it to be
On the 2nd charge of culpable homicide, the judge upheld the prosecution's
submissions that the actions of the accused were responsible for the death
of the deceased. He held that the defence of alibi by the accused was not
worthy of any credibility.
"It has been established beyond reasonable doubt that the actions of the
accused persons caused the death of these 2 people. The gunshots could not
be said to be accidental discharges. They were intentional and well
(source: This Day)
Man with death penalty pronounced innocent
A farmer given the death penalty after being convicted of the rape and
murder of 2 girls has been cleared after 3 trials.
Gao Jinfa, 47, from Dali County, Shaanxi Province in Northwest China, was
originally sentenced to death with a 2-year reprieve after a trial found
him guilty of assaulting the youngsters in October 2003.
It followed his attacks on the 2 girls in his village in 1999 and 2002
Gao was previously given a 7-year jail term in 1979 for raping another
Because of his past conviction, he was considered the prime suspect by
Weinan Municipal Intermediate People's Court for the latest attacks.
But after being sentenced, the judgment was later recalled by the higher
people's court for a retrial.
In February 2004, the intermediate court maintained that Gao was guilty
and sentenced him again to death with reprieve. But in turn the provincial
higher court sent the judgment back for the 2nd time as it said some facts
were not clear, the higher court sources said.
In July last year Weinan Intermediate People's Court pronounced that Gao
was not guilty after the 3rd trial, and Gao went home after 1,215 days of
imprisonment, said Geng Min, Gao's lawyer.
However, Weinan Municipal People's Procuratorate lodged a protest against
the judgment just days later.
The procuratorate, the public prosecutor of Gao's case, thought that the
procedure of the 3rd trial was illegal and the court made mistakes
relating to evidence given during the hearing, said a local procurator who
refused to tell his name.
It emerged during the case that local police did not carry out DNA
examinations on the body of the 12-year-old girl who was raped and killed
The case has now been finally closed after Shaanxi Provincial
Procuratorate, the higher authority of Weinan municipal procuratorate,
recalled the protest and the intermediate court's 3rd judgment was
enforced by the provincial higher court, Gao's lawyer said.
He added he was preparing an application for State reparation for Gao to
help him rebuild his life.
Gao told China Daily: "I am completely free at last, after 3 years of
being detained and facing the death sentence."
He Yingmin, a local law expert, said that the result of Gao's case
indicated that China's law system has now been greatly improved.
(source: China Daily)
More information about the DeathPenalty