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Death Row Nigerian Actress rearrested after Six years Jailbreak

Kannywood actress, Rabi Ismail who escaped from prison about six years ago after being sentenced to death, has been recaptured.

The actress, now 46 years old,  escaped from custody in Hadejia Prisons, Jigawa state, on December 16, 2011, mysteriously, without breaking walls or digging tunnels. Prison officials believed then she was aided by insiders.

TheCable reports that, the spokesperson for the prisons authorities, Francis Enobore, confirmed that Ismail was rearrested through a collaboration between the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) and the State Security Service (SSS).

Ismail was in 2005 found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to death by a high court in Kano.

She was alleged to have murdered her boyfriend, Ibrahim Auwalu, in 2002.

The actress was said to have lured Ibrahim to a picnic at Tiga Dam, where she poisoned him with chocolate and pushed him into the dam.

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She was initially held at the Kaduna central prison from where she was transferred to Hadejia prison before she escaped.

In July 2011, the court of appeal upheld the sentence of the lower court that sentenced her to death by hanging.

According to NAN, The actress was initially arraigned in  2002 before a Kano High Court for culpable homicide contrary to Section 221(b) of the Penal Code.

Rabi Ismail

Convicted Actress, Rabi Ismail (NAN)

The case dragged on till January 5, 2005, when Justice Haliru Mohammed Abdullahi pronounced her guilty of the charge.

While delivering the lead judgment, Justice Haliru said the court was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Rabi committed the act.

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Quoting Rabi’s confessional statement, the judge noted that before pushing Auwalu into the dam, Rabi had removed the sum of N10,000.00 from his pocket.

“Circumstantial evidence before the court also adduced that the convict was guilty…” the judge stated, while averring that all evidence in possession of the court pointed convincingly to the fact that Rabi committed the offence, on which basis she was sentenced to death.

Justice Haliru noted that the evidence of each of the nine witnesses that testified in the court corroborated the others.

After the judgement, Rabi’s lawyer went to the  Appeal Court sitting in Kaduna.

The court  upheld the High Court judgement. Not satisfied, Rabi again headed to the Supreme Court.

In the judgement, delivered by Justice Francis Fedode Tabai in July 2011,  the 7-man  court did not see any reason to interfere with the decisions of the High Court and Court of Appeal which  had found Rabi  guilty of culpable homicide.

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The court consequently affirmed and upheld the death sentence.

Justice Francis Fedode Tabai 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.

The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), at the time, criticised the justice system over the death sentence penalty.

The guild also pleaded with the Goodluck Jonathan administration to wade into the matter.

Segun Arinze, Paul Obazele and Kate Henshaw were among those who were averse to the judgment of the court.


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