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Sunday

This Nigerian death row convict prefers to commit suicide than die by hanging

At the condemned convicts section of the Jos Prison, thoughts of committing suicide now fill the mind of 20-year-old Ponjul Yakubu, a farmer who was sentenced to death by hanging for killing his father with a dane gun.

He is currently scared of hearing his name mentioned at all, particularly when a prison warder draws his attention to seek information from him. His heart misses a beat, believing that the hangman has come to execute him on the gallows.


The reality of the cruel act that put him in the present situation dawned on him when Justice A. I Ashoms of the Plateau State High Court found him guilty of murdering his father and sentenced him to death by hanging, on Friday, September 29, this year.

These days, he is always tense, as life has become meaningless to him. From every indication, he is now a walking corpse in the prison where he has remained sober, traumatized and in agony, the Sunday Sun reports.

On the day that this reporter visited the prison to meet with him, his countenance changed when the warder informed him that he had a visitor. He thought it was a smokescreen to take him out for the dreaded appointment with the hangman. Relief came his way when he realized that it was a lawyer who wanted to talk with him in respect of the case decided by the court.

Prior to committing the crime, Ponjul who hails from Langtang South, was resident in Dorowa Vwang-Vwang in Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State. After writing the Senior Secondary School Examination in 2014, he joined his father, late Domsing Yakubu, in his farming activities.

He was determined to inherit the farmland of his 54-year-old father, having abandoned school to work with him on the farm while two of his younger siblings, Nandet and Blessing pursued further education.

Trouble started when the energetic young man started selling some of the farm produce. He requested his father to buy him a motorcycle to use for commercial purposes to help his mother.

The father allegedly promised to buy the motorcycle from the proceeds of the huge yam harvest and sales of several bags of maize and millet.

Ponjul, Sunday Sun learnt got angry with his father, because he sold the farm produce without consulting him, given that he, Ponjul, did the major part of the work in the farm. He felt that his father deliberately refused to buy the motorcycle as promised. From then on, he was very agitated by the seeming failure of his father to keep the promise. An altercation happened between father and son.

On May 5, 2015, Ponjul returned home about 4:34am and met his father and mother, Tabitha Nanwora Yakubu, lying down on a mat under a tree due to the hot weather in the village.

They were in deep sleep when Ponjul conceived the evil thought to kill the father. He left his room, went into the father’s room. He took the father’s dane gun and shot him dead on the head.

The mother, the second among four wives of the father who laid beside the husband became terrified as she escaped death by the whiskers. She screamed in horror. Her loud shout, coupled with the sound of the dane gun attracted people that rushed into the compound.

His uncle, Nanshep Bisa, quickly reported the matter to Police Division in Shendam. Ponjul was arrested and arraigned in court on July 8, 2015, to face a one-count charge of culpable homicide punishable with death.

Expectedly, since the judge passed the death sentence on him, Ponjul has been filled with regret as the hangman’s noose dangles over his head. He has been praying daily, asking God to forgive him and accept his soul if he is eventually executed.

These days, Ponjul cries endlessly in the prison, worried about his mother, who abandoned him to his fate all through the trial. No member of the family showed up in court except his uncle who testified against him.

“I had no intention of killing my father, I only wanted to threaten and frighten him, so that he would buy me the motorcycle. I didn’t know when I cocked the gun and shot him dead. I have regretted my action, but there was nothing I could do after I committed the crime. I begged my uncle to quash the matter at home on a ground that I will not try this again but he refused. He wanted me to learn a lesson and now I have been sentenced to death.
“I prefer to die by committing suicide than to pass through the horrible experience of death by hanging. If I knew that my action would put me in this present condition, I would have killed myself instead of my father,” Ponjul said, tear drops rolling down his cheeks.

4 comments:

  1. Hmmm.
    Talk about someone walking everyday in the shadows of death and living a life of great regret...
    He killed his father, so I don't feel sorry for him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You were only threatening him, with a gun?????????

    ReplyDelete
  3. E don claer for his eyes now.Anger issues!

    ReplyDelete

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