Niger State is no exception to the general observation that ritualistic murders are being committed in each of Nigeria’s 36 states (and the Federal Capital Territory). Though I certainly have not covered all recently reported and suspected ritual murder cases in Niger state, which is located in the North central Region of Nigeria, I did report a few since the start of this site in 2018. See my postings of September 15, 2019, August 30, 2022, and February 21, 2023.
Niger State is Nigeria’s largest state covering a total area of 76,363 km2 (29,484 sq mi), approximately 9% of the total land area. The state capital is Minna, major cities include Bida, Kontagora, Suleja, and Wawa. Niger State’s total population is an estimated 7 million people and composed of numerous indigenous tribes.
The state’s population is mainly muslim, hence Niger State is one of Nigeria’s states where the Sharia law was adopted – since May 4, 2000. The state is also known as The Power State because of its economic potential and abundant natural resources including coal, crude oil, gold, iron ore, phosphate, tin, and uranium.
A Niger State High Court sentenced a convicted ritual murderer, Tunde Tayo, to death by hanging. He was convicted to have murdered for ritual purposes Abdullahi Janiya Yahaya, in Minna in 2019.
Though I strongly support the prosecution of suspected ritual murderers and the rule of law, I have my doubt about the effectiveness of the capital punishment as a deterrent. The phenomenon of ritualistic murders is too complicated to eradicate by only harsh punishments.
Niger Court Sentences Man To Death By Hanging for ritual murder
Published: January 11, 2024
By: Abu Nmodu – Leadership, Nigeria
A Niger State High Court has convicted and sentenced one Tunde Tayo to death by hanging for the murder of Abdullahi Janiya Yahaya in Maitumbi area of Minna.
He was accused of conniving with his friend now at large to kill Yahaya for ritual purpose by cutting his head and burying his body in a shallow grave around Maitumbi area of Minna in 2019. The judge, Justice Mohammed Mohammed handed down the sentence yesterday in a judgement delivered for over two hours.
After reviewing the case and submissions of the parties involved, Justice Mohammed held that the circumstantial evidence against the accused by the prosecutor was strong, cogent and direct. The judge reviewed that the convict was arraigned on two count charges of robbery and culpable homicide under sections 298 and 221 of the penal code.
The judge, reviewed that the convict admitted in his statement to the police that he owns the uncompleted building, that the body was buried adding that, “although he denied killing the deceased, circumstantial evidence established that he was last seen with the deceased and that he committed the crime.”
The judge said, “On the charge of robbery on section 298 of penal code, you are sentenced to life imprisonment. On the second count charges of culpable homicide under section 221 of the penal code law, you, Tunde Tayo is hereby convicted and sentenced to death by hanging until you die. May Almighty God have mercy on your soul”.