A Nigerian court on Tuesday sentenced a Chinese national to death after finding him guilty of killing his girlfriend, a government official told The Associated Press, vowing to recommend execution if he unsuccessfully appeals the ruling.

Frank Geng-Quangrong was convicted by a local court in northern Nigeria’s economic hub of Kano state, Kano Justice Commissioner Haruna Dederi said. Geng-Quangrong had pleaded not guilty.

“This is a signal that whoever is coming to a society should be prepared to comply with the extant laws of that society,” Dederi said.

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Death sentences for capital offenses are common in Nigeria and sometimes involve foreigners. A Danish man in 2022 was sentenced to die by hanging for killing his wife and daughter.

However, executions rarely occur as they require approvals by state governors. Only two warrants for death sentences have been signed since 1999, according to Inibehe Effiong, a Nigerian human rights lawyer.

Geng-Quangrong was accused of stabbing his girlfriend, 22-year-old Ummukulsum Sani, in September 2022 at a Kano residence. Local media quoted him as saying he stabbed her in self-defense.

He has up to three months to appeal his sentence at Nigeria’s Court of Appeal.

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