By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
Friday was a sad day for Miss Rabi Ismail, an Hausa actress, as a 7-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court, okayed her death by hanging.
The embattled actress, who was based in Kano state, was accused of drowning her boyfriend, one Mr. Ibrahim Auwalu alias Zazu, in 2002, after she allegedly administered sedative drugs on him.
The apex court held that having considered the proof of evidence tendered against the accused person by the Kano state Directorate of Public Prosecution, DPP, it found her guilty of culpable homicide punishable with death.
The deceased boyfriend of the actress was said to have lost his consciousness shortly after he finished eating a doped Eclairs sweet handed to him by the accused person.
Following a detailed investigation that was conducted into the matter by various security agencies in the state, the actress was accused of complicity and was subsequently charged to court by the Kano state DPP.
Consequent upon her arraignment and trial before a Kano state High Court in 2002, the accused person was found guilty of culpable homicide contrary to section 221 (b) of the Penal Code and was accordingly sentenced to death by hanging.
Dissatisfied with the verdict of the trial court, Miss Ismail went before the Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal, pleading it to overturn the death sentence slammed against her.
To her dismay however, the appellate court upheld the decision of the lower court, adding that she should be hanged immediately.
As a last resort, the actress proceeded to the Supreme Court, begging it to save her life.
In its lead judgment prepared by Justice Francis Fedode Tabai, the apex court noted that the accused person failed to place sufficient evidence capable of convincing it that she did not murder her deceased boyfriend on December 25, 2002.
It equally held that having examined the confessional statements of the accused, the depositions of all the witnesses that were called in the matter, as well as records of trial within trial earlier conducted by the lower courts, it did not see any reason to interfere with the decisions of either the trial High Court or the Appellate Court.
Therefore, the 7-man panel of jurists found her guilty as charged and accordingly okayed her death sentence.
Reacting to the judgment, counsel representing the Kano state DPP, Ms. Binta Lawal, said the state was only interested in ensuring that justice was done for both the deceased man and the accused person, stressing that the death sentence handed to Miss Ismail would not be celebrated.