Akwa Ibom State High Court presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang has sentenced a 39-year-old man, one Monday Effiong, to life imprisonment for beating his 68-year-old father to death.
The bricklayer who hailed from Mbiakpan Atan in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State was found guilty of the offence on Tuesday.
The convict is said to beat his father over the allegation that he was a wizard, responsible for the inability of his wife to conceive.
In a charge of murder between the state against Monday Effiong Philip, the prosecution told the court that the convict, had on 27th May 2017, upon the complaint of his wife against her father-in-law, punched his father with deadly blows and pushed him, to the ground
The prosecution told the court that even when a neighbour carried the sexagenarian into his room, the convict locked up the door to his father’s room and returned the following day, with a patent medicine dealer, only to find the father dead in the room.
Delivering judgement which lasted for about an hour judgment, Justice Bassey Nkanang held that the invitation of the patent medicine dealer by the convict was an indication that, in spite of the unwarranted and unlawful assault on his father, he had no intention of causing his death, nor did he know that death would be probable consequence of his action.
“Whereas it was the act of the accused person that resulted in the death of the deceased, the six circumstances provided for in section three-two-three of the criminal code, laws of Akwa Ibom State, which identifies what constitutes murder, appear to be absent in the entire scenario of the case.”. The court held.
Justice Nkanang further held that “the position of the court, on the extent to which evidence at trial, has established the three ingredients of murder, is that, the deceased is dead and the act of the accused person is responsible for the death, there is insufficient evidence to prove the third mandatory ingredient in a charge of murder.”
“The position of the law is that the particulars of the lesser offense must be capable of being subsumed in the original charge such that it is possible to carve out the lesser offense from the particulars of the original charge, which was murder”.
Justice Nkanang further said “it is this law that vests the trial court with the power to convict for a lesser offense, where the ingredients of the said lesser offense are contained in the aggravated charge and are found proved.”
The court resolved the issue in favour of the prosecution and convicted Monday Effiong Akpan for manslaughter and sentenced him to imprisonment for life.