Death penalty


Malawi now becomes the 22nd sub-Saharan country to abolish the death penalty as a Supreme Court sitting in the country ruled death penalty as unconstitutional.

A hangman’s noose on black background. Rope, black, hangman, despair, failure, noose, execution, crime, suicide, punishment, death

The court explained that the death penalty was against international human rights standards. Which in turn means that a life sentence will be the highest punishment in Malawi.

The Malawi Human Rights Commission described the ruling as progress. The ruling noted there had been no executions in the country since 1975.

However, Malawian social justice advocate Alexious Kamangila stated that the death sentence did not necessarily deter criminal activities, adding that other forms of punishment were good enough.

“The death penalty targets the poorest in Malawi and other places – those who cannot afford proper legal representation are the ones who are more likely to face death penalty,” he said.

An Ondo state High Court sitting in Akure presided over by Justice Ademola Bola has sentenced an Ondo based pastor who was identified as Kolawole Samson, to death by hanging for killing one Ayo Olaniyi at a village near Okeigbo area of the state.

The deceased was said to have in March 2016, gone to hunt frogs alongside three others at a fish pond owned by the said Pastor.

Kolawole was found guilty of inflicting injury on the deceased’s head with a cutlass. Olaniyi later died at the hospital he was admitted.

Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Olusegun Akeredolu and Mrs Omotola Ologun, argued that the offence was contrary to Section 316 and punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Laws of Ondo State (2006).

Pastor Kolawole however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justice Bola however ruled that all evidence before the court showed that Pastor Kolawole was guilty of killing Olaniyi. The judge held that Samson Kolawole should die by hanging.

The high court of the federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Monday convicted Maryam Sanda of the mother of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello. The judge, Justice Yususf Hallilu, held that they were contingent evidence and the Maryam’s testimony and statement to the police that she fatally stabbed her husband, who died in Abuja on the November 19, 2017.

The deacesed, Bilyaminu Bello is reported to be a newphew of the former Chairman of the People Democratic Patry, Haliru Bello. Sandra, the mother and her relatives broke into tears immediately the judge pronounced her guilty. 

Sandra’s mother, who was sitting at the back seat, ran out of the court as she wept. Sanda also rushed out of the courtroom , which was beside the dock to cry. The jugde, however ordered that she should be brought back to the courtroom.

The defence lawyer, attempted to make a plea for allocutus ( plea for mercy). Justice Yusuf Hallilu said he needed to rise for the courtroom to restore to normalcy. He said he would return to deliver the sentences after some minutes. 

When the judge returned from the break, he said there would be no room for allocutus. He also said the offence for which the convict was convicted was based on section 221 of the penal code

“It has been said that thou shall not kill. Whoever kills in cold blood shall die in cold blood” he said

“Maryam Sanda should reap what he has sown,” he said adding “it is blood for blood “