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 mysteriously from custody in Hadejia Prisons, Jigawa State, on December 16, 2011 without breaking walls or digging tunnels. Prison officials believed then she was aided by insiders.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Francis Enobore, spokesperson for the prisons authorities, confirmed that Ismail was re-arrested through collaboration between the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) and Department of State Service (DSS).
Ismail, also known as Rabi Cecilia, in 2005 was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to death by a High Court in Kano. Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where the sentence was affirmed in 2011.
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.
She was initially held at the Kaduna Central Prison from where she was transferred to Hadejia prison before she escaped.
In July 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the sentence of the lower and appeal courts that sentenced her to death by hanging.
The actress was initially arraigned in 2002 before a Kano High Court for culpable homicide, contrary to Section 221(b) of the Penal Code.
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.
Quoting Rabi’s confessional statement, the judge noted that before pushing Auwalu into the dam, Rabi had removed the sum of N10,000 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 had 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 judgment, Rabi’s lawyer went to the Appeal Court sitting in Kaduna.
The court upheld the High Court judgment. Not satisfied, Rabi again headed to the Supreme Court.
In the judgment delivered by Justice Francis Fedode Tabai in July 2011, the seven-man panel did not see any reason to interfere with the decisions of the High Court and Court of Appeal.
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.