By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
A High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has, on Wednesday November 24, sentenced two men to death for killing their uncle, Mr. Imeobong Effiong Edet over landed property in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of the State.
Two accused are 32-year-old Joseph Usen Etim from Akpautong and 31-year-old Christopher Sunday Macaulay, a native of Obio Aduang both in Ibesikpo Asutan.
The Court Presided over by Justice Okon Okon found the accused persons guilty of murder, punishable by death under section 326 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Volume 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State 2000.
He said the convicts confessed that an elder brother of the deceased contracted them to kill his younger brother, Mr. Imeobong Effiong Edet for refusing to give him their late father’s landed property.
The convicts said the elder brother promised them some part of the property, should they kill his brother, a deal they successfully carried out on 19th November, 2016.
The Court held that there was “admissible evidence that the deceased died instantly, following his attack by the accused, who inflicted matchete cuts on his head and slit his throat with a knife.”
Justice Okon, who described “the death as gory and gruesome, said the act was deliberate and intentional.”
According to him, “The evidence of the prosecution, including the statement by the wife and son of the deceased and the confession of the accused persons, have satisfied the essential elements of murder.”
Justice Okon held that “the law is trite, that where the deceased as in the instant case, was attacked with lethal or dead dealing weapon and died instantly, then medical evidence is not essential and the cause of death can properly be inferred that the wound inflicted caused the death. Muhammad vs State (2017) LPELR 42098 SC 23-26. Ukpong vs State (2019). LPELR 46427 SC.”
The Court further held that “In a criminal trial, confession is the best evidence to prove a crime. It is the evidence given by the accused himself regarding what role he played in the commission of the offense charged. By confession, the accused surrenders himself to the law and becomes his own accuser.”
Justice Okon said, “an accused person can be convicted solely on the basis of his confessional statement proven by the satisfaction of the Court. Achuku vs State (2015) 6 NWLR Pt 1456. Isah vs State (2018) 8 NWLR Pt 1621. Okolo vs FRN (2019) LPELR 40300 SC at 33, E-F.”
“The sentence of this Court upon you, Joseph Usen Etim and Christopher Sunday Macaulay is that, each of you, be hanged by the neck, until you be dead. May God have mercy on your soul.” Justice Okon pronounced.