Court Sentences Woman To Death For Ex-Husband’s Brutal Murder

A High Court in Birnin Kebbi has sentenced Farida Abubakar to death by hanging for the murder of her ex-husband, Chief Magistrate Attahiru Muhammad-Ibrahim. 

The judgment, delivered on Monday, brings to a close a high-profile case that has captured public attention since its inception.

Farida Abubakar was arraigned on charges of murder on August 25, 2022, following the brutal killing of her former spouse.

The prosecution filed the main charge on July 26, 2023, accusing Abubakar of fatally stabbing Muhammad-Ibrahim with a sharp object in his abdomen, neck, and left arm. 

The attack led to the Chief Magistrate’s death, prompting a thorough investigation and legal proceedings.

In delivering the judgment, Justice Umar Abubakar, the Chief Judge of Kebbi State, stated that the court was convinced of the defendant’s guilt based on compelling evidence presented by the prosecution. 

“The defendant was last seen with the deceased in his house in Birnin Kebbi. Shortly after, he was found dead,” the judge noted, highlighting the circumstantial evidence that linked Farida Abubakar to the crime.

Justice Umar Abubakar emphasized the importance of the burden of proof, which lies with the prosecution to establish the accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. 

The judge pointed out that the extra-judicial statement of the accused, coupled with testimonies from 12 prosecution witnesses, provided overwhelming circumstantial evidence.

“The evidence adduced is cogent, compelling, not controverted,” Justice Umar Abubakar stated. “Her hijab was found smeared with blood. It was her intention to kill him. She knew death would be the consequence of her action.”

The court found that the murder was premeditated, especially as it occurred when the deceased was about to marry a new wife.

 “The court is satisfied, it is clearly established that the defendant mercilessly planned and marshalled the attack with a sharp object, obviously to cause death or knowing the consequence of her act to cause death or does not care,” the judge declared.

As a result, Farida Abubakar was convicted of culpable homicide and bodily harm. 

The judge sentenced her to death by hanging in accordance with section 191(b) of the Penal Code Law of Kebbi State. 

Additionally, she received a seven-year prison sentence for causing bodily harm, under section 224(1) of the same code.

In a plea for leniency, Mudashiru Sani, the defense counsel holding brief for Abdulnasir Sallau, described the convict as a first-time offender with aged parents. 

Sani highlighted that Abubakar was her parents’ caregiver and also had a young daughter in need of motherly care. 

He urged the court to consider a lighter sentence, allowing the convict to return to society as a reformed individual, especially considering her age.

However, the prosecuting counsel, Lawal Hudu-Garba, Director of Public Prosecution in the state Ministry of Justice, argued for strict adherence to the law. 

He stated that the harsh sentence should serve as a deterrent to others contemplating similar heinous crimes.

Following the judgment, the defense counsel, Sani, announced plans to appeal the verdict, seeking a possible reduction in the sentence or an overturning of the conviction.

The case has sparked widespread discussion in Kebbi State and beyond, with many expressing varied opinions on the severity of the sentence. 

Some view it as a necessary measure to uphold justice and deter future crimes, while others sympathize with the convict’s personal circumstances.

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