Nine more suspects arrested over murdered 4 year old boy
Victim’s body deposited in mortuary as family desert their Ijanikin residence
What the law says about murder by a minor
The Nigeria Police are, on current evidence, not treating the heart- breaking killing of four-year-old Ibrahim Hassan Jamiu by one Tajudeen Azeez, a 16 year old, in the Ijanikin area of Lagos with kids’ gloves as the case has now been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos for further investigation.
And this is in the words of the Acting Lagos Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Patricia Amadin who spoke to our correspondent on Friday, August 7, 2015.
According to reports, the suspect, an apprentice furniture maker in the area and a neighbour of the victim, allegedly killed the unsuspecting four year old after luring him to the back of Anglican Primary School, Deeper Life Bus Stop, Ijanikin on Monday, July 27, 2015.
The suspect then allegedly maimed the corpse, removing the deceased’s penis, kidney and intestines.
Speaking to ENCOMIUM Weekly’s correspondent, the PPRO confirmed the incident, adding that the “police got the information from members of the public and visited the scene”.
She continued, “The suspect was arrested by the Ijanikin Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and his men in a manhunt for the killer, because on getting to the scene they only saw the dead body and as such started the search.”
She further added that the suspect confessed to the crime, saying during interrogation, “That he was actually sent by a man.”
Asked about the investigative efforts by the police, she revealed to us that a total of “nine suspects have been arrested as investigation continues at the SCID”.
Concluding, she said the body of the deceased had been deposited at an undisclosed mortuary.
Meanwhile, the deceased’s family has deserted their residence along Moshalashi Street, Ijanikin. When ENCOMIUM Weekly visited the house, the green compound (popularly called face-me-I-face-you) was clearly scanty, with only a handful of people around.
And in the words of the neighbours who appeared apprehensive and reluctantly spoke to our correspondent, family members of the victim have not been seen for some time.
MURDER BY A MINOR IN THE EYES OF THE LAW
According to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, adulthood starts at age 18; therefore, the suspect being only 16 is considered a minor (a person under the full age of legal responsibility, which in the case of Nigeria is 18). Consequent upon this, he would not be tried in a regular court and would not receive the sentence stipulated by law for murder, even if found guilty. This was the consensus of legal practitioners our correspondent sought their thoughts on the possible outcome of the case.
In their words:
MALACHY UGWUMMADU, LEGAL PRACTITIONER
Ideally, life imprisonment or death penalty. But a minor under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not criminally responsible for an offence he committed. He, however, can be tried by a juvenile court. Presently, under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, a convicted criminal can be given what is called Suspended Sentencing with an option of parole.
JOHN ITODO, LEGAL PRACTITIONER
Criminal consideration for an offence starts at 18, which is when you are deemed to be an adult in the eyes of the law. A minor would be remanded in a correctional home. Because one is under 18 doesn’t mean he would be let off the hook for an offence just like that, especially one such as murder. Also, he could be tried in a juvenile court, but would not get the death penalty.