A Court of Appeal in Yola has upheld the conviction and death sentence for the three killers of a pastor in Adamawa State.
The trio were convicted having been found guilty of charges bordering on the murder of Pastor Hammajulde Dadon.
They are to die by hanging.
The appellate court on Monday affirmed the death sentence, earlier delivered by High Court III, on the three persons.
The convicted persons are Godwin Obidah (25), Thomas Bitrus (27) and Hananiya Ezra (30), all from Tashan-Reke village in the Yola South Local Government Area of the state.
Justice Chidi Nwaoma Uwa of the Appeal Court affirmed the lower court’s verdict and dismissed the appeal seeking to upturn the judgement.
Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri, who is now an Appeal Court Judge, had convicted and sentenced the three to death by hanging for killing Pastor Dadon, over non-payment of royalty on plaster sand.
The convicts and one Dahiru Mohammed (now at large) had conspired to apply unlawful and criminal force on anyone who wouldn’t comply with their demand for payment of royalty on taking and using plaster sand in their community.
According to the First Information Report (FIR), the convicts had on March 23, 2017, attacked Dadon with sticks and cutlasses, knowing that death would be the probable consequence of their action.
In his confessional statement admitted in evidence, one of the convicts, Hananiya Ezra, narrated that Godwin Obidah had on the fateful day asked him to accompany him to kill Dadon over the royalty issue.
He said, “I agreed and armed myself with a stick while Thomas Bitrus who had a motorcycle carried Godwin Obidah who also armed himself with a stick.
“I also saw one strange Fulani man, Dahiru Mohammed, who was recruited by Godwin Obidah for the operation; he was also armed with a cutlass to the scene of the crime.
“Upon arrival, I saw the deceased behind a primary school with some people; we approached him and Godwin Obidah, started hitting the pastor with a stick, and then the Fulani man rushed in with his cutlass and macheted him.”
They were tried, found guilty and convicted by Justice Waziri of High Court III. The judgement was on Monday affirmed by the Court of Appeal in Yola.