Three years later, soldier gets death sentence for killing girlfriend

A Plateau high court sitting in Barkin Ladi on Wednesday sentenced Sunday Umaru, a 34-year-old dismissed solider, to death by hanging.

Umaru was said to have hacked his girlfriend to death over a message found on her phone.

Justice SP Gang handed down the sentence after finding Umaru guilty of killing his girlfriend, Charity Thomas, on January 23, 2016.

Delivering the judgment, Gang said Umaru “mercilessly took the life of Charity Thomas in cold blood” and had to face the full wrath of the law.

“This sentence is mandatory; the law states that any person convicted of murder shall be punished with death by hanging,” he said.

“The sentence of this court upon you is that you, Sunday Umaru, will be hanged by the neck until you are dead. May God have mercy on your soul.”

Umaru, a married man, was a private in the Nigerian army and was serving at the special task force (STF), sector 7, Barkin Ladi, at the time of the incident.

At his arraignment, Umaru faced a one-count charge of culpable homicide.

He was accused of killing Charity, who visited him from Kaduna, by stabbing her with a knife in the stomach, slaughtering her thereafter and dumping the body by the road side.

According to the prosecutor, Emmanuel Awe, Charity’s lifeless body was found the next day by neighbours and some soldiers, who trailed the blood marks to the accused person’s house.

“Friends of the accused, who were the military men that evacuated the body, also recognised the girl as Umaru’s lover, who was seen with him the previous day,” the lawyer said.

The accused, he further told the court, fled his base and returned to his family at the Rukuba Barracks in Bassa local government area.

The prosecutor said a team of military men mobilised and went after the accused and arrested him at his home in the barracks, while in the company of his family.

He said during investigation, the police discovered several gory pictures and videos of the deceased that the accused took in his phone, immediately after the murder.

David Adudu, counsel to the accused, told NAN that he was not satisfied with the death sentence death passed by the court.

“I will get a copy of the judgment, study same and raise possible grounds for an appeal,” he said.