Crime WatchNigerian News

Court sentences man to death two years after setting mother ablaze

A Minna High Court 1 has sentenced a man, Stephen Jiya to death by hanging for setting his biological mother on fire in Niger state.

Chief Judge of Niger, Halima Abdulmalik convicted Jiya, after finding him guilty of culpable homicide punishable under Section 221 of the penal code law.

The prosecutor had told the court that the defendant visited his mother, Comfort Jiya, at her residence Dutsen-Kura, Minna and burnt her alive using a bottle of petrol he found in her kitchen in December, 2021.

His mother, a retired Director in the Niger State Ministry of Education 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.

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.

She said; “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”.

Abdulmalik added, ”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 his younger sister and two other members of his family testified against him during the trial.