4 years after killing business partner, man, 27, bags 20 years

high courtFor stabbing his 33-year-old business partner, Sanni Mohammed, to death, 27-year-old Abubakar Samaila is to spend the next 20 years in prison, an Ikeja High Court ruled on Wednesday.

Samaila, who was 23 years old when he committed the murder, had jointly ran petroleum products business with the deceased.

He stabbed him with a knife during a fight over a business deal, according to the prosecution.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convict was initially charged for murder contrary to Section 227 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.

However, Justice Raliatu Adebiyi, while delivering her judgment on Wednesday, convicted Samaila for a lesser charge of “involuntary manslaughter due to the inability of the prosecution to prove the charge of murder beyond reasonable doubt.”

“The court hereby finds you, Abubakar Samaila, guilty of involuntary manslaughter and convicts you of an offence of involuntary manslaughter, contrary to Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.

“The defendant is hereby sentenced to 20 years in prison. The sentence shall commence from his date of remand at the Ikoyi Medium prison,” Adebiyi pronounced.

According to the state prosecutor, Mrs Bukola Akani, the convict committed the murder at 5.00 p.m. on May 13, 2013 at Ibira Street, Idi-Araba, Mushin, Lagos.

“Samaila and the deceased had an argument over the sale of some petroleum products to an undisclosed customer.

“The argument degenerated into a fight and the convict in the heat of anger, stabbed Mohammed on the left side of his chest, leading to his death.

“Members of the public immediately apprehended Samaila and handed him over to the police,’’ she told the court.

Earlier during proceedings, Samaila’s Counsel, Mrs Y.A. Ajayi, in her allocutus, pleaded for leniency for the convict.

“I pray that this court will temper justice with mercy, the defendant is a first-time offender with no record of previous crimes.”