A 52-year-old man, Nkereuwem Emah, was sentenced to death by hanging by a Uyo high court presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang for murdering his pregnant wife, whom he accused of infidelity.
Emah, a father of five from Mbiabam in the Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by the court on Friday.
On the 12th of February 2018, the accused murdered his wife in their home in Mbiabam, Ibiono Ibom LGA, while she was sleeping.
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However, when the accused was arraigned on December 6, 2018, he pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, in violation of Section 326(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Volume 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, 2000.
‘The verdict came after a four-year legal battle in which the prosecution called three witnesses, including Christian Sylvanus Etim, the deceased’s 10-year-old son, who described how his father committed the crime against his mother.
“On December 2, 2018, my father (the accused person) worked as a mechanic for the Water Board,” Mr Etim said. He used a matchet in the night on the aforementioned date. My mom was sound asleep. My mother was cut when he used it. Mother passed away. We were all living in the same house at the time when the incident occurred. In Itam, the village chief summoned the cops. The cops arrived and invited me to join them at the station.”
The son’s testimony was backed up by his father, the accused, who had confessed to the police after being arrested following the incident.
“Around 4:30 a.m. on December 2nd, 2018, I called my wife to inquire about how she got pregnant and who is to blame. I became irritated when she refused to respond.
“I slashed her right hand with the large matchet.” She attempted to flee, but I cut her neck once more, causing her to fall. People around our house told me that one Michael Udoh always slept with her whenever I left the house for work,” Emah said in his extrajudicial statement, which is an exhibit in front of the Court.
The act was described as a “callous, inexplicable, and inexcusable debasement of the marriage institution” by the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang, in a nearly one-hour-long ruling on Friday.
“The defendant, Nkereuwem Etim Emah, is hereby sentenced to death,” the court stated. The sentence of the Court upon you, Nkereuwem Etim Emah, is that you be hanged by the neck until you are dead, in accordance with Section 339(2) of the Criminal Procedure Law, Cap 39, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.”
The accused had previously pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy and allow him to return home and care for his five children.