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Nigerian Man Kills Friend over N30,000 Debt, Faces Capital Punishment




A Nigerian man, Festus Stephen, has been sentenced to death by hanging for killing his friend, Mohammed Sani, over a N30,000 ($73) debt in Adamawa State.

News About Nigeria understands that the incident occurred on the 19th of October 2018, during an argument over the unpaid loan at Sabon Pegi in Yola.

The prosecution argued that Festus caused the death of Sani, popularly known as Jega, by hitting him repeatedly during a heated exchange. Festus had lent Jega the money, but when the debt became due, Jega failed to pay it back on time.

The argument between the two men degenerated, and they began looking for weapons to fight. While Jega tried to pick a knife under the bed, Festus quickly grabbed a cutlass and struck Jega twice in the head. Jega fell and died in a pool of his blood.

After the incident, Festus fled to Mubi, where he was accused of committing another murder and is currently facing a separate trial for culpable homicide.

Justice Bulila Ikharo of the High Court in Yola found Festus guilty of culpable homicide punishable with death under Section 192 (2) of the penal code law.

The judge held that Festus had the intention of killing Jega and used a cutlass to strike him in a vital part of the body before locking him in the room and fleeing the scene.

The judge stated, “the prosecution has proved its case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, and I convict the defendant as charged.”

The case highlights the dangers of resorting to violence to settle disputes, especially over debts. The legal system in Nigeria does not condone such actions, and the penalties for crimes such as culpable homicide are severe.

It is essential to find peaceful and legal means of resolving conflicts to avoid loss of life and the consequences of being found guilty of a criminal offense.