The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday affirmed the death sentence passed on Usman Maigari, a former policeman, for killing his wife.
Maigari was arraigned before the Sokoto State High Court on one count charge of culpable homicide punishable with death contrary to section 221(a) of the Penal Code.
He was said to have strangulated his wife, Sa’adatu, to death for ritual purposes at his house in Yabo, Yabo local government area ofSokoto State and dumped her corpse it in a culvert near JanzomoVillage along Kanjiji-Shagari road.
He committed the offence on Jan. 11, 1999.
Maigari pleaded not guilty to the charge but the respondent called seven witnesses and tendered numerous exhibits to prove the case.
The trial judge at the high court convicted the appellant and sentenced him to death by hanging.
Dissatisfied with the decision, the appellant approached the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Judicial Division, which upheld the conviction and sentence.
Again, not satisfied, the Maigari appealed the decision of the appellate court to the Supreme Court on May 13, 2010.
Maigari had approached the court to determine whether the Court of Appeal was right in holding that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
He further prayed the apex court to determine whether the Court of Appeal had not considered his submissions before affirming his conviction.
However, in delivering judgment on the case on Friday, Justice MaryPeter-Odili of the apex court, held that the appellant’s appeal lacked merit.
“I affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal which affirmed the decision, conviction and sentence of the appellant for culpable homicide punishable by death. I order that the sentence as passed by the trial High Court be carried out,” she said.
International bodies and human rights groups have continued to condemn capital punishment for offenders.
The hanging of four prisoners condemned to die in Edo State recently raised a lot of dust.
In 2008, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights called on States Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to “observe a moratorium on the execution of death sentences with a view to abolishing the death penalty”.
On April 19, 2012, the Working Group on the Death Penalty of the African Commission reaffirmed the necessity of the abolition of capital punishment.