An Akwa Ibom State High Court, sitting in Uyo,has sentenced a 52-year-old man, Nkereuwem Emah, to death by hanging for killing his pregnant wife whom he accused of infidelity.
Emah, the father of five from Mbiabam in Ibiono Ibom local government area, was sentenced on Friday by the court which found him guilty of murder.
The accused killed his wife on February 12, 2018, while she was sleeping in their residence in Mbiabam.
However, when arraigned on December 6, 2018, the accused pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge of murder, contrary to Section 326(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Volume 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, 2000
The judgment came after four years of litigation in which the prosecution called three witnesses, including the 10-year-old son of the deceased, Christian Sylvanus Etim, who narrated how his father committed the act against his mother.
Etim said “On 12/2/2018, my father, (the accused person) is a mechanic with the Water Board. On the said date, he used a matchet in the night. My mother was sleeping. He used it and cut my mother. My mother died. The incident took place in the house we all lived in. The village head called the Police in Itam. The Police came and invited me to accompany them to the station.”
The evidence of the son was corroborated by his father, the accused person, who had earlier confessed to the Police when he was arrested after the incident.
“On 12/2/2018 at about 4:30 am, I calledmy wife to ask her about how she came about the pregnancy and who is responsible for it. She refused to answer me and I become annoyed.
“I took the big matchet and cut her right hand. She moved to run away, I cut her neck again and she fell down. I was informed by people around our house that one Michael Udoh always sleep with her anytime I left the house for work,” Emah said in his extrajudicial statement which was an exhibit before the court.
Delivering judgement which lasted for almost one hour on Friday, the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang, described the act as a “callous, inexplicable and inexcusable debasement of the marriage institution.”
The court held, “The accused person, Nkereuwem Etim Emah, is hereby sentenced to death. In compliance with the Section 339(2) of the Criminal Procedure Law, Cap 39, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, the sentence of the Court upon you, Nkereuwem Etim Emah is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.”
Earlier, the accused person had pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy and give him another chance to go home and take care of his five children.