Ex-Soldier Sentenced to Death for Murder of Prominent Yobe Islamic Scholar

Daud Olatunji

The Yobe State High Court in Potiskum has rendered a verdict in a case that shook the community—the murder of renowned Islamic cleric Sheikh Goni Aisami.

 The court, presided over by Justice Usman Zanna Mohammed, sentenced a dismissed soldier, Lance Corporal John Gabriel, to death by hanging for his role in the heinous crime. 

Additionally, Gabriel’s accomplice, Lance Corporal Adamu Gideon, received a 10-year prison sentence.

The tragic incident unfolded in the Karasuwa local government area of Yobe State on August 22, 2022, when Sheikh Aisami, a highly respected Islamic scholar based in Gashua, was brutally murdered. 

Shockingly, the assailant was identified as Lance Corporal John Gabriel, who had received a free ride from the cleric while en route to Gashua from Kano State.

The trial, which captivated the attention of the public, unfolded with meticulous proceedings.

Justice Usman Zanna Mohammed, in delivering the verdict, convicted Gabriel, identified with Service Number N/A13/69/6522 and associated with the 241 Recce Battalion in Nguru.

 Simultaneously, Gideon was found guilty of conspiracy.

The judge emphasized that the sentencing aligns with the provisions of the law, taking into account the careful consideration of facts presented during the trial.

 One critical aspect contributing to the court’s decision was the failure of the defendants to provide essential witnesses corroborating their claims.

 The absence of such testimony played a pivotal role in shaping the court’s decision.

During the court proceedings, Justice Mohammed directly addressed Gabriel, seeking any objections to the judgment.

 In a startling turn, Gabriel confessed to the murder of the revered Islamic cleric, shedding light on the shocking circumstances surrounding the crime.

The sentencing marks a pivotal moment in the pursuit of justice for Sheikh Goni Aisami and sends a strong message regarding accountability, even for individuals with a military background. 

The Yobe State community awaits closure as legal proceedings conclude, and the convicted individuals face the consequences of their actions.


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