Two middle-aged men have been sentenced to life in prison by a Bauchi State High Court on Wednesday for raping a 40-year-old woman and plucking her eyes.
The Judge who presided over the case, Justice Rabi Umar, said that the convicts – Mohammed Sani Alias Bambi, 30; and Sabo Rabo alias Bullet, 40 of Dass and Toro local government areas, conspired and raped the woman at Yelwan Dawani in Toro town on March 1, 2014.
Umar, also the Chief Judge of Bauchi State, recalled that the two men were brought before her on March 4, 2015 charged with conspiracy, rape, causing grievous hurt and attempt to commit culpable homicide.
She said that the convicts and two others currently at large, also removed the right eye of their victim, who is a cripple, and damaged her left eye.
The judge added that one of the defendants, Bitrus Yakubu alias Japan, died at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi while on remand, while Usman Sambo alias Galambi, 35, also implicated in the matter, was, however, discharged and acquitted for lack of evidence.
She noted that “prosecution had proved his case beyond reasonable doubt, therefore, the court has no option than to sentence the two convicts to life in prison without an option of fine.
“I have heard the plea for leniency but I will be quick to say that the first and second defendants deserve no sympathy because their action reveals how callous and barbaric they are.
“I, therefore, could best describe you as devils in human skins who must be taken away from the streets.”
The State Counsel, Mrs Asabe Yusuf, had earlier told the court that the victim was attacked and raped along a footpath in the bush in Dass Local Government of the state while returning from a ceremony on March 1, 2014.
Yusuf said that the defendants, after raping the victim, used a knife and removed her right eye, damaged the left eye and left her unconscious.
She said that the offences were contrary to sections 96, 282, 229 and 253 of the Penal Code of Bauchi State.
The prosecution had during the trial, called four witnesses who testified in favour of the victim and tendered the knife used by the defendants in removing the eye as an exhibit.
The defence counsel, Mr Jonathan Adams, had during the trial, called three witnesses in defence of the convicts.
The convicts, who had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge through their lawyer, pleaded for leniency after the judgment was read to them, but the judge turned down their requests, noting that their acts were heinous and must be punished accordingly.