An Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting at the state capital, Uyo, has sentenced a 52-year-old man, Nkereuwem Emah, to death by hanging for killing his pregnant wife, whom he accused of infidelity.
Justice Bassey Nkanang in his judgement found Emah, the father of five from Mbiabam in Ibiono Ibom Local Government area of the state, guilty of murder.
The convict was said to have killed his wife on the 12th of February 2018, while she was sleeping in their residence.
During his arraignment on 6th December 2018, the convict pleaded not guilty to the one count 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 a 10-year-old son of the deceased, Christian Sylvanus Etim, who narrated how his father committed the act against his mother.
Mr 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, who had earlier confessed to the Police when he was arrested after the incident.
In his extra-judicial statement before the court, the convict stated that “on 12/2/2018 at about 4:30 am, I call my 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 fall 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.
Delivering judgement which lasted for almost one hour, the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang described the act as a “callous, inexplicable and inexcusable debasement of the marriage institution.”
The court held that 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 Convict 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.