31 March 2006 :a 35-year-old man, Umaru Auta, was sentenced to death by hanging for stealing a bicycle. Auta had been arrested by the police in 1999 in a village near Toro, in Nigeria’s Bauchi State, and arraigned on a three-count charge of robbery, assault and unlawful possession of arms.
Three witnesses told the court how Auta and one Umaru Babusa, still at large, masked themselves and attacked one Hamza Adamu with machetes and snatched his bicycle and a bag containing some clothes.
The victim, according to the police, sustained injuries and was treated at the Toro General Hospital. Justice Bala Umar said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and ruled that Auta should die by hanging. “Auta, this court has found you guilty of the offence of armed robbery, contrary to section 1 (2) (b) and section 5(b) of the Robbery and Firearms Act, Cap 398, Laws of the Federal Government 1990. “The sentence is that you be hanged by the neck until you are dead or be shot by a firing squad as the government of Bauchi State may direct,” he added.