Crime & Punishment of 2014-01-24

Baker to be hanged for murder

Tamale High Court presided over by Justice Jerome Noble-Nkrumah on Thursday convicted a 24-year-old baker to death by hanging for killing an eight- year-old boy in March 2010.

Abubakari Iddrisu was found guilty, also, of injuring two others at Gumbihini, a suburb of Tamale in the Northern Region.

The seven-member jury in the case unanimously found the accused guilty of murder, using offensive weapon and causing harm in the case that had been pending before the court for more than three years.

The convict's pleas for mercy were ignored by the trial judge who went ahead and passed judgment praying to God to have mercy on the convict's soul. According to the facts as presented to the court, the convict, on March 16, 2010, slaughtered the deceased and fatally wounded two other children while they were fast asleep.

The two other kids were lucky to have survived the sharp cutlass of the suspect, while eight-year-old Mustapha Abdul Jahir died after he was rushed to the Tamale Teaching Hospital for medical attention.

Mustapha Mohammed, nine, and Mustapha Aliu, seven, who were in critical condition, were later treated and discharged while an autopsy revealed the deceased died of cutlass wounds.

The suspect, a brother of the father of the victims, lived in the same house will be them and was reported to have constantly accused the school children of pilfering from his room.

He was alleged to have cautioned the kids over the conduct but this was constantly defied until the dawn of the said day when the suspect got infuriated and butchered the victims while they were asleep, with their mother Zenabu Mustapha in the compound.

The mother startled by the unusual noise at night, sprang up from the mat only to discover that she was lying in a pool of the kids' blood and raised the alarm.

Madam Zestiabu, unable to stand the pain, also collapsed and was rushed to the hospital together with victims where one was pronounced dead on arrival. Abubakari Iddrisu, after the incident, tried fleeing the community, but was pursued and arrested by the youth who but for the intervention of some elders, would have lynched him.

He was handed over to the police and put before court on charges of murder, causing harm and use of offensive weapon.

Abubakari Iddrisu, while in detention, expressed regret over his actions and prayed with his family to temper justice with mercy, promising to turn over a new leaf.

The court, after a full trial, found him guilty of all counts and sentenced him accordingly.

No relation was in court as the accused was immediately whisked away by prison officers to be hanged, depending on when the President of the republic gives his assent.