Eleven persons from Anfani community in Lavun Local Government Area have been sentenced to death by hanging over a land dispute on the orders of a Minna High Court.
The convicts were found guilty on nine counts brought against them in Niger State.
The court also discharged and acquitted fifteen others arraigned alongside the convicted persons for lack of diligent and proper prosecution against them.
They were all arrested on the 7th of October 2019 and charged to the Minna High Court by the Office of the Attorney General through the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), for attacking Gaba community a neighbouring village also in Lavun local government.
It would be recalled that the Bida High Court had on the 22nd of September, 2018 given judgement in favour of the Gaba community over a lingering farmland dispute and fish ponds belonging to it.
Seven persons from Gaba community were allegedly killed by some group of people from Anfani in December 2018 during a crisis that broke out over the farmland and fish ponds.
Reviewing the case against them, the presiding judge, Justice Maimuna Talatu Abubakar, asserted that the prosecuting counsel had proven beyond reasonable doubt the charges against the eleven convicted persons.
She said, “the first to the eleven accused are found guilty as charged and they are hereby sentenced to death by hanging.”
Justice Abubakar sentenced them to life imprisonment on another count charge and 14 years imprisonment without the option of fine in another, declaring that both jail terms shall run concurrently.
She also found the convicts guilty on culpable homicide punishable under section 221 of the penal code which attracted the death sentence, saying, ” they were also found guilty on count nine which carried life imprisonment and 14 years jail term for conspiracy respectively”.
Earlier, the defence counsel to the accused persons, Barrister Lerry Otahagwa had pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy while sentencing them.