A high court judge in Kaura Namoda local government area of Zamfara State, Justice Muktar Yushau, yesterday, sentenced a police officer, Corporal Anthony Azare, to die by hanging for intentional, culpable homicide.
Azare was sentenced to death by hanging, following the court’s ruling that it was “proved beyond reasonable doubt” that the accused had intentionally used an AK47 rifle to shoot one Malam Yusif Abubakar on the shoulder and lower abdomen, which led to his instant death.
In his judgement, Justice Yushau said that all the prosecution’s witnesses proved that the accused had, on April 22, 2011, in company of two other police officers, illegally broke into the matrimonial residence of the deceased without any lawful permit.
Upon discovering their presence, the deceased attempted to chase them from his house with a log; but while the other two backed out, the accused refused to move.
Yushau said in the circumstance, the deceased took a pestle to the head of the accused, who responded by firing two quick shots to the deceased’s shoulder and abdomen, causing instant death.
In the case of the trial which dragged on for almost three years, the unit commander of the Kaura Namoda Police Division, ASP Benedict Gowon, helped the court establish that the accused was on “illegal patrol” when the incidence happened.
Yushau also said Rule 237 of the use of fire arms specifically defines areas to shoot for self- defence when the attacker possessed a less potent weapon, but said that, in this this instance, the accused has used a more harmful weapon, “with the intention to kill”.