By Bartholomew Madukwe
The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, has upheld the death sentence handed a man, Edet Okon, who was found guilty of the offence of murder by a Lagos State High Court and was sentenced to death by hanging, for stabbing his wife to death with a spoon at night.
A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh ordered that Okon be hanged for killing his wife.
The appellant had appealed the judgement, arguing that the lower court erred in law when it dismissed his plea of insanity.
But in a unanimous judgement, the Court of Appeal held that Appeal No. CA/L/553/10 lacked merit and dismissed it.
Justice Ikyegh, who delivered the leading judgement, said Mrs. Okon’s blood was crying for vengeance and her killer husband should “reap what he has sown; blood for blood.”
Okon had claimed at the lower court that he was insane at the time he stabbed his wife to death and two witnesses called by the defence had given evidence that there were cases of insanity in the family of the appellant.
However the court rejected the evidence adduced in support of Okon’s claim, convicted him of murder and ordered that he should die by hanging.
Aggrieved, Okon took his defence of insanity to the Court of Appeal, urging it to upturn the judgement of the lower court.
But in their judgement, the Appeal Court justices said the High Court was right in rejecting the plea of insanity.
The court further held that the burden of proving insanity rested on the appellant. The appellant, the court added, failed to discharge the burden on him to prove that he was insane at the time of committing the offence.