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30 Dec 2017

Abdullahi Umar, Murder Convict Gets Freedom

Abdullahi Umar, convicted and sentenced to death for murder, has been released from prison 18 years after his arrest as a minor.
Umar was released yesterday during the visit of the Stakeholders Committee on Reforms and Decongestion of Prisons headed by the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, to Kuje prisons.

Narrating his story to the committee, Umar said he was arrested in Sokoto in 1999 after he had a fight with one Alhaji that led to the death of an individual that came to separate the fight.

He said he was in prison for eight years in Sokoto before he was transferred to Kaduna prisons where he spent another five years and subsequently brought to Kuje prisons.

He told the committee that he was convicted in 2008 and was sentenced to death by hanging but his sentence was later reduced to life sentence upon review.

Upon consulting with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Justice Bello ordered the release of Umar from prisons.

He said records showed that Umar was 17-years-old at the time of committing the offence, thus an underage as at when he was charged which was wrong according to the Penal Code.

He said prison authorities testified that Umar exhibited good conduct all through the time he was incarcerated.

Also, one of the awaiting trial inmates, Jedida Ezenwa (aka Igwe) during his case review informed the committee that although he was charged with conspiracy, he observed that his prosecutor, who he said was part of the police team that investigated him, has converted his (Ezenwa's) car to his personal use.

He said the prosecutor normally drove the car to the court in Kubwa and accused him of being the one responsible for the slow pace of his trial.

Thereafter, Justice Bello said the allegation would be investigated and the truth of the matter would soon be brought to light.

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