Friday, May 5, 2017 8:42 am
Nemesis caught up with Two kingpins of a notorious cross boarder cattle rustling syndicate in Kogi State yesterday. The men Muhammed Jauro and Yusuf Sanni were sentenced to death by hanging by the High Court of Kogi state sitting in Okene.
The convicts were charged before Justice Josiah Majebi on four counts of criminal conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery, criminal conspiracy to commit criminal homicide and culpable homicide, all of which contravene sections of the Penal Code.
Justice Majebi found the cattle rustlers guilty on all the four charges despite their plea of non-guilty to the offences.
The prosecution witness had told the court that sometimes in January 2016 one Dauda Abdullahi made a report of the gruesome murder and theft of the cows of one Haruna in one of the farm centers in Okene. He said upon further investigation, the accused persons were arrested at Ajese-Ikpo in kwara state while their leader, Awaijo Wetti, was still at large as at the time of the prosecution.
He said that the convicts admitted committing the offences together with the said leader when they narrated how they grouped and subsequently machetes their victim to death in his farm and eventually stole his cows which they took to Ajase-Ikpo before they were apprehended.
The first accused person, Muhammed Jauro’s confessional statement which was corroborated by the second, Yusuf Sanni, was relied upon by the court to arrive at its verdict. They both stated how they and their other gang members conspired to commit the crime in December 2015.
Jauro said: “Sometimes in the month of December, 2015, one of my friends by name Yusuf leaving at Kabba junction Zariagi called me on phone and said there are some cows belonging to one Haruna at the bush of Okene, that we should go and steal the cows. After that, our leader by name Agwaijo Wetti leaving at Tyre village along Okene-Auchi road asked us to meet at the bush of Okene which we did. It was there myself, Yusuf, Ado and our leader, Agwaijo Wetti, gathered us and led us and all of us were holding cutlasses and we met the owner of the cow rearing his cow and all of us machete him with cutlasses until he died before three of us took control of the cows to Ajase-Ipo in Kwara state.”
In his judgment, Justice Majebi declared that the confessions of the accused persons were weighty and admissible in determining the case against them. “The confessions of the respective accused persons are graphic, direct and the accused persons stated that after killing the deceased Haruna, they went with his cows to Ajase-Ipo where they were arrested and the cows were recovered in the bush where they kept them.”
On their denial of the offence during the trials, the court held that the denial of their guilt before the court could not be substantiated because “the admission of the commission of the said offence by the accused persons in their respective statements is clear, specific and unambiguous.”