Drama ensued in a Jos High Court yesterday, when a murder suspect, Tasiu Mohammed, 21, threatened to kill a witnesses for testifying against him.
Mohammed Tasiu was on trial over his alleged involvement in a murder case, and when a witness came up to testify, he was caught by the police, witnesses and officials of making gestures depicting that he would slit the throats of the witnesses.
The judge was alerted of this and, and quick to warn Mohammed against such contempt.
“You are only lucky that the prosecuting counsel did not pray the court to convict you (accused) for contempt, otherwise I would have descended on you,” she said.
“I will only warn you to desist from threatening witnesses in the court. If you repeat it, I will start by sentencing you to 14 strokes of the cane.”
Mohammed, along with two others – Saidu Mohammed, 19, and Umar Shehu 23 – were first arraigned on February 13, charged with criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, robbery and possession of firearms.
The police prosecutor, O. S. Osho of the State Criminal Investigation Department, at the arraignment, told the court that the accused persons committed the crime on September 23, 2016 at Clark Quarters, Bukuru in Jos.
Osho quoted the accused persons as telling the police, in a confessional statement, that they killed a man, who approached them for help.
“The accused persons confessed that the deceased, who came into Jos at about 7pm on the said date, approached them to direct him to where he could lodge, before proceeding on his journey the next day,” Osho said.
“The accused persons said that they promised to help, but on realising that the stranger had money on him, they misled him to an uncompleted building where they killed him.
“They further said that after killing him, they dumped his body in a well in the uncompleted building, and made away with his money.”
During the arraignment, however, the prosecutor also alleged that the first accused, Tasiu Mohammed, had committed the same crime sometime in 2014, when he was 18 years old.
Osho said Mohammed was then tried as a juvenile, found guilty and convicted for murder.