Man Bags Life Imprisonment for Beating Father to Death in A’Ibom

Okon Bassey in Uyo

A 39-year-old man, Monday Effiong Philip, in Akwa Ibom State has been sentenced to life imprisonment for beating his 68-year-old father to death over witchcraft accusation.

An Uyo High Court presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang convicted Philip, a bricklayer from Mbiakpan Atan in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of the state

Philip was found guilty and convicted for beating his father over the allegation that he was the wizard responsible for the inability of the convict’s wife to get pregnant.

The prosecutor had in a murder charge between the state against the convict, Philip, told the court that the convict had on May 27, 2017, upon the complaint of his wife against her father in-law, hit his father and pushed him down.

The prosecutor had told the court that even when a neighbor carried the sexagenarian into his room, the convict locked up the door to his father’s room and left.

The convict was said to have returned the next day with a patent medicine dealer, only to find the father dead in the room.

In an hour judgment, Justice Nkanang held that the invitation of the patent medicine dealer by the convict 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 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 Judge said.

Justice Nkanang further held that “the position of the court, on the extent to which evidence at the trial has established the three ingredients of murder, is that the deceased is dead and the act of the accused person is responsible for his death, but there is insufficient evidence to prove the third mandatory ingredient in a charge of murder.

“It is the position of the law that the particulars of the lesser offence must be capable of being subsumed in the original charge such that it is possible to carve out the lesser offence from the particulars of the original charge, which was murder.”

Justice Nkanang said: “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 offence are contained in the aggravated charge and are found proved.”

The court resolved the issue in favour of the prosecution, and convicted Philip for manslaughter, and sentenced him to imprisonment for life.

The convict, who is a father of one, pleaded the court to have mercy on him, saying he is the only child of his father.

Culled from This Day.