Killer of 101-year-old woman sentenced to death

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Abdoulie Bohum, a resident of Misera-Ba Mariama village in the Upper River Region, has been sentenced to death for killing Aja Mariama Nyan, a 101-year-old woman.

Abdoulie was found guilty and convicted of murder by the Basse High Court, presided over by Justice Simeon A. Abi, on Friday for stabbing the centenarian with a knife on her stomach. 

Delivering the judgment, Justice Abi disclosed that the prosecution called four witnesses and tendered six exhibits and the accused testified and called two other witnesses in his defence.

The judge further disclosed that both the defence and the prosecution each raised two closely similar issues for determination in their written addresses but in varying order.

He noted that the evidence of PW1, PW3 and PW4 was clear on the point that the deceased came out from her room shouting that Abdoulie had stabbed her.

In fact the knife was still on the stomach of the deceased when she came out shouting and it was PW1 who removed the knife from the body of the deceased, the judge said.

It was also in evidence that there are four Abdoulies living in that compound.

The trial judge said looking at the extracts from the evidence of the witnesses, it was consistent on the point that the accused was the only Abdoulie in the compound at the time of the incident who could have inflicted the injury on the deceased.

Discounting the toddler Abdoulie who was present at the time, the other Abdoulies were all away from the compound at the time.

He revealed that the accused evidence was meant to simply becloud and obfuscate the issue of which Abdoulie the deceased was referring to when she shouted that Abdoulie had stabbed her.

The trial judge further revealed that the declaration made by the deceased to PW1, PW3 and PW4 who were present and having lunch at the time that she was stabbed amount to a dying declaration.

He said the intensity of the attack which was cognisable through the nature of injury inflicted; the vulnerable part of the body wherein the attack was focused on (the stomach), and the age of the deceased all are indicative of the fact that the accused person acted with malice aforethought in stabbing the deceased.

Justice Abi disclosed that the accused person, in his defence, denied stabbing the deceased and claimed total ignorance, raising in the process an alibi.

At this juncture, the trial judge pointed out that the cautionary statement of the accused was a confession statement and that it was the evidence of PW1, PW3 and PW4 that the deceased came out of her room with a knife sticking in her stomach through the local hand fan and shouting that the accused stabbed her.

The judge remarked that the accused entered the room of the deceased twice as he stated in Exhibit P3A; met her on the bed with her eyes closed the second time and stabbed her in cold blood was conclusive proof of malice aforethought and that he did not agree with the accused that he was somewhere else when the incident happened.

The trial judge revealed that the accused evidence in court was a contradistinction to his statement to the police where he said he was bound hands and feet and kept there till the police arrived.

The trial judge further revealed that if the accused was elsewhere as he claims in his alibi, the elders of the family would not have immediately thought of him as the Abdoulie Bohum mentioned by the deceased and called him to question him as he claimed in his evidence.

 Neither would he have been bound hands and feet and kept till the police arrived as he claimed in his earlier statement to the police.

He said the accused in an attempt to bolster his alibi produced two defence witnesses but failed to impress with their evidence and therefore found no merit in the alibi belatedly raised by the accused person.

Justice S.A. Abi declared that he did not find any merit in his defence and there was nothing in the defence to dislodge the case of the prosecution and therefore found the accused person guilty as charged for the murder of Aja Mariama Nyan.

He remarked that since the punishment for this offence leaves him with no discretion, he thereby sentenced the accused person to death in a manner approved by law.

Author: Bruce Asemota