Justice Bassey Nkanang of an Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo has sentenced a 39-year-old man, and a bricklayer, Monday Effiong Philip, to life imprisonment for beating his 68-year-old father, Monday Effiong Akpan, to death.
The prosecution had told the Court that Effiong Philip, a native of Mbiakpan Atan in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, attacked his father over allegations that he was a wizard, and responsible for the inability of his wife to conceive. The prosecution said on May,27, 2017, upon the complaint of his wife against her father-in-law, the suspect pounced on his father.
The prosecution also told the Court that even when a neighbor carried Philip’s father into his room, Philip locked the door to his father’s room and returned the following day, with a patent medicine dealer, only to find the father dead.
Delivering judgment in the case, Justice Nkanang held that the invitation of the patent medicine dealer by Philip, was an indication that, in spite of the unwarranted and unlawful assault on his father, he had no intention of causing his death, nor did he know that death would be the probable consequence of his action.
“Whereas it was the act of the accused person that resulted in the death of the deceased, the six circumstances provided for in section 323 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, which identifies what constitutes murder, appear to be absent in the entire scenario of the case.
The position of the Court, on the extent to which evidence at trial, has established the three ingredients of murder is that, the deceased is dead and the act of the accused person is responsible for the death.
There is insufficient evidence to prove the third mandatory ingredient in a charge of murder.
It is the position of the law is that the particulars of the lesser offense must be capable of being subsumed in the original charge such that it is possible to carve out the lesser offense from the particulars of the original charge, which was murder.
It is this law that vests the trial court with the power to convict for a lesser offense, where the ingredients of the said lesser offense are contained in the aggravated charge and are found proved.”the judge ruled
Justice Nkanang resolved the issue in favour of the prosecution and convicted Monday Effiong Philip for manslaughter and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
However, the convict who is a father of one, pleaded the Court to have mercy on him, saying he is the only child of his late father.
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