By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
A 52-year-old man Nkereuwem Etim Emah of Mbiabam in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, of Akwa Ibom State has been condemned to die by hanging for killing his pregnant wife.
The father of five, butchered his wife of 12 years whom he accused of infidelity on February, 12, 2018 in their Mbiabam, Ibiono Ibom residence while she was sleeping.
He was arraigned and took his plea before the State High Court sitting in Uyo, presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang on December, 6, 2018 and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The judgment came after four years of litigation in which, the prosecution called three witnesses, one of them, a 10-year-old son of the deceased, Christian Sylvanus Etim who narrated how his father took the life of his mother.
He had testified that, “On 12/2/2018, my father, (the accused person), a mechanic with the Water Board used a matchet in the night to cut my mother who was sleeping and 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 given by Christian Etim was corroborated by his father, the convict who had confessed to the Police upon arrest after the incident”.
In his confessional statement to the police, the husband, Emah said, “Today, 12/2/2018 at about 4:30am, I called my wife to ask her about how she came about the pregnancy and who was responsible for it. She refused to answer me and I became angry. 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 slept with her anytime I left the house for work.”
In an hour judgment, the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang described the act as “callous, inexplicable and inexcusable debasement of the marriage institution.
He held: “The nature of the weapon resorted to and the part of the body attacked by the accused person in ventilating his rage at the victim, are clear pointers that indeed, the accused person clearly intended to kill the deceased.
“It is accordingly held that the prosecution has proved the charge of murder against the accused person beyond reasonable doubt as required by law and the accused person is hereby found guilty of the offense of murder and is accordingly convicted”
Nkanang further 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 souls”
Earlier in his allocutus, the accused person had pleaded the Court to temper justice with mercy and give him another chance to go home and take care of his five children’