Operatives of Nigeria Police, Bosso Division of Niger State Command, have arrested a 14-year-old girl, Joy Afekafez, a resident of Gbeganu, Minna, over the killing of a lecturer with the Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna, Dr. Funilola Adefolalu.
The suspect, Joy, was the housemaid of the slain lecturer.
The deceased, according to Niger State police command spokesman DSP Wasiu Abidoun, in a press release made available to newsmen Tuesday, said the late lecturer was killed on Sunday at her residence in Gbaiko, Area of Minna.
DSP Abidoun disclosed that on October 29, 2023, at 100 hrs, some friends and church members of the deceased visited her residence in the Gbaiko area of Minna, as she was not seen at the church service and was not responding to phone calls put to her. On getting to the house, they met her lying in a pool of blood with marks of injury on her body.
The police spokesman said that it was at this point that police operatives in the Bosso division, who swung into action and visited the scene, saw two knives with blood stains suspected to have been used to stab her by unknown persons, while the body was taken to IBB Hospital, where she was confirmed dead.
DSP Abidoun further disclosed that the men and officers of the division swung into action and carried out a series of interviews with neighbours and friends of the family, while an investigation led to the arrest of the housemaid of the late lecturer on October 30, 2023, who resided at Gbeganu.
During the investigation, the suspect admitted working with the deceased for a period of three weeks as a housemaid before she was sacked for her misdeed.
According to her, she narrated her ordeal to her classmates after her sack, and one Walex and one other by name Smart, who along with her, went to the house of the late Dr. Mrs. Adefolalu on October 28, 2023, at about 1600 hrs, where she informed the victim that she came with two boys on the pretext of begging her for forgiveness.
Thereafter, the woman asked them to enter the house, from where they beat her and stabbed her with a knife, which Walex took along with him to the house, while Smart took a knife from the kitchen in the house and used it to stab her severally, as well as remove her phone and laptop and a battery of a vehicle parked, and went away with those items.
"The suspect will be transferred to SCID for discreet investigations while efforts are underway to apprehend the fleeing others", said the press release.
Justice Mohammed Adishetu Mohammed of Minna High Court Number Four has raised alarm over the unpleasant condition of his court.
The judge described the conditions in courtrooms in Niger State as being like prisons, lacking basic facilities for humans to function optimally.
Justice Mohammed stated this on Monday during the sitting of the court, when the room became hot and almost unbearable for lawyers and litigants.
It was learned that the presiding judge noticed that everyone inside the courtroom was sweating and fanning themselves with document papers.
He was said to have also noticed that the only air conditioner in the courtroom was not functioning properly, prompting him to ask the clerk to bring in a standing fan.
Apparently wanting to fix the situation, Justice Mohammed was said to have halted proceedings for almost five minutes while pleading with the bar to bear with him on the situation.
However, the standing fan, like the air conditioner, did not work when it was brought in, and the court has to resume under the same harsh room temperature conditions, with the presiding judge still pleading for more understanding.
He said, "Please bear with us. I can see that the courtroom is a little bit uncomfortable. We have an air conditioner that is not functioning properly.
"As you can see, these chairs in the courtroom have been here since 1986. I even had to fix some of them when I came in".
He described as unfair the decades of negligence of the state judiciary by successive governments, adding that "this is the reason why it is said that prisons and courtrooms look alike in Niger State. It is unfair; the Executive is not treating the judiciary fairly".
The Chief Judge of Niger State, Justice Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik, had, during the special court session to mark the 2023 legal year, described the conditions of courts in Niger as pathetic.
She decried the fact that some courts in the state were sitting in rented accommodation, even as she said that the Izom Magistrate Court had collapsed.