In a shocking turn of events, thirteen individuals have been arraigned before the esteemed Suleja High Court Three, in Niger state, facing charges of allegedly killing the Village Head of Lammbata, Alhaji Mohammed Abdulsafur. This gruesome incident unfolded in January of this year, sending shockwaves throughout the region.
The Legal Proceedings
The Office of the Attorney General of the state has left no stone unturned in seeking justice for this heinous crime. The thirteen defendants have been charged on five counts that encompass grave offenses, including culpable homicide, disturbing public peace, inciting disturbance, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous means, and mischief by fire.
Barrister Mohammed Galadima, an Assistant Chief State Counsel in the state ministry of justice, laid out the charges, citing the relevant legal sections under which these offenses fall. These charges carry significant weight and are punishable under section 221 of the penal code, with a joint act reading together under section 79 of the penal code.
The charges explicitly state, “That you Umar Ilyasu Sarki on the 14th day of January, 2023 at Lammbata within the jurisdiction of this honorable court had formed common intention with Hamza Umar Sarki, Dauda Umar Sarki, Abdulkareem Dantani, Yusuf Chaska, Zubairu Dabaka, Danbitso, and Nda’allah Dagba to commit an offense to wit: culpable homicide, in furtherance of which you went to the house of Mallam Mohammed Abdulsafur, who is the Village Head of Lambata while armed with stones, cutlasses, sticks, and other dangerous weapons, got him beaten to stupor and inflicted head injuries on him. You all thereby committed an offense of joint act contrary to section 79 read together with section 221 of the penal code.”
The Pleas and Bail Application
When the five count charges were presented to the accused by Justice Aisha Bawa Wodu, they all pleaded not guilty. At this pivotal juncture, Counsel to the accused, Barrister Ahmed Baba Shehu, applied for their bail. He affirmed that if granted bail, they would provide a reasonable surety and comply with any imposed bail conditions.
However, the Assistant Chief State Counsel, Barrister Mohammed Galadima, strongly objected to the bail application. He stated that he had filed a counter affidavit to contest the bail application. He further requested the court to adjourn the case to commence the hearing into the matter.
The Court’s Decision
Upon careful consideration of the arguments presented, Justice Aisha Bawa Wodu adjourned the case to 17th October 2023 for the commencement of the case. Additionally, she ordered the remand of the accused in correctional custody pending the ruling on the bail application.
The Broader Picture
It is essential to note that twenty-nine individuals were initially charged in connection with this shocking incident. However, only thirteen of them were physically arraigned before Justice Aisha Wodu Bawa of Suleja High Court Number Three. The fate of the remaining sixteen defendants remains uncertain as they are said to be at large. Similarly, two other individuals are currently in Minna correctional custody and are expected to be brought before the Court on the next adjourned date.
The individuals physically present in court for arraignment are as follows:
- Umar Ilyasu Sarki
- Hamza Umar Sarki
- Dauda Umar Sarki
- Abdulkareem Dantani
- Yusuf Chaska
- Zubairu Dabaka
- Jibrin Garba Dende
- Ibrahim Mohammed
- Ilyasu Dantani
- Yakubu Bisalla
- Musa Mohammed
- Adamu Yusuf
- Yunusa Ibrahim
- Abdullahi Umaru
- Musa Abubakar
- Danladi Dashi
- Mohammed Atiku
- Usman Habib
The unfolding events surrounding the murder of the Village Head of Lammbata, Alhaji Mohammed Abdulsafur, are both tragic and disturbing. As this case progresses through the judicial system, it is clear that justice must be served, and the individuals responsible for this horrendous crime must be held accountable.
The legal proceedings have just begun, and the accused individuals, represented by their legal counsel, are vehemently defending their innocence. The Court, led by Justice Aisha Bawa Wodu, is tasked with the challenging responsibility of ensuring a fair and just trial for all parties involved.
In these trying times, it is crucial to let the legal process run its course, allowing for a thorough and unbiased examination of the evidence presented. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications, not only for the accused but also for the community of Lammbata and the justice system as a whole.
As we await further developments in this case, one thing remains certain: the pursuit of truth and justice must prevail, and the memory of Alhaji Mohammed Abdulsafur must be honored through a thorough and fair legal process.