AKWA IBOM: MAN HACKS FATHER TO DEATH …Gets life imprisonment



…Gets life imprisonment

The presiding judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang said Ita is to spend the rest of his life behind bars for committing

Our correspondent learnt that Ita was originally arraigned on a 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, in Charge No HIT/3c/2018, but had the charge commuted to manslaughter.

It was deduced from the confessional statement he made to the police that he has been having festering issues with his deceased father over some thorny family matters.

The bubble burst when the deceased, Mr. Oscar Ita went missing between June 5 and 11, 2017 prompting his brother Mr Godwin Udoisang to initiate a search party.

Udoissang who testified as PW1 in the trial suit said he first inquired about his brother from the accused, who responded that he had not also seen him.

He told court that he organised a search party to comb the surroundings and nearby bushes which yielded no fruit until he decided to search for him in the late brother’s house which he lived with the accused where he discovered something like a heap of earth.

It was gathered that the accused made no efforts to escape and by the time the youths of Nkim arrested him, he attempted to run away but was too late.

At the homicide department of the state CID, Ikot Akpan Abia, one detective, a photographer and a pathologist accompanied the youths to the scene where the remains of late Oscar Ita was exhumed and an autopsy conducted indicating that the accused buried his late father still wearing his left shoe.

From the confessional statement including autopsy report and police investigation, there was strong suspicion that the accused may have buried his father when he was not yet dead, since he confessed that he hit the late father, “and he fell down”, adding that he “rushed” to a neighbour, begged and obtained a shovel used in digging the shallow grave.

O. P. Okpo , Chief state counsel who led the prosecution insisted that though there was no eye witness(es) which is one of the ingredients to prove the offence of murder, the confessional statement of the accused and circumstantial evidence of the crime is sufficient to prove the charge of murder against the accused.

Lawrence S Udonwa Esq who appeared for the defence contended that since there was no eye witness (es) to the alleged offence, evidence of the four state witnesses cannot sustain the conviction of the accused person.

He argued that Exhibits 1 to 3 (Post-mortem Report, photographs of scene and body of the deceased) tendered by the Investigating Police Officer who was neither an expert nor maker was improper.

In the course of the trial, the state called four witnesses and tendered five Exhibits, while the accused was his witness.

In his first judgment, Justice Bassey Nkanang considered all arguments and submissions by parties before concluding that, “the court believed that there was mutual physical assault. A person who unlawfully kills another in the circumstance of mutual physical assault committed manslaughter, and not murder”.

Justice Nkanang noted that, “the prosecution has proven all the ingredients of murder. The court is persuaded to convict the accused of the offence of manslaughter. Consequently, the accused is sentenced to life imprisonment”.




@ The Nation

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