In a verdict delivered on Wednesday, a Makurdi High Court under the jurisdiction of Justice T.A Kume sentenced five men—Terna Zwave, Jonathan Gbajime, John Bur, Gabriel Ianna, and Kwaghgba Zaki—to death by hanging for culpable homicide.
Residing in Anchoha Village, Gwer-East Local Government Area of Benue, the men faced charges brought before a Makurdi Magistrates’ Court in 2021. These charges included criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass, mischief, and culpable homicide, falling under sections 97, 349, 329, and 222 of the Penal Code, Laws of Benue, 2004.
The prosecution detailed that on October 5, 2021, the men conspired to trespass on land owned by Oliver Jato, where they proceeded to cut down trees for charcoal production. A confrontation ensued when Abraham Hwange, Peter Agber, and the deceased intervened, resulting in a violent altercation. The prosecution asserted that the convicts beat Biija to death.
Following legal advice, the case was transferred to the High Court from the Magistrates’ Court.