The Akwa Ibom State High Court presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang has sentenced a 39-year-old man, Monday Effiong, to life imprisonment for beating his 68-year-old father to death.
The bricklayer, who hailed from Mbiakpan Atan in the Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, was found guilty of the offence on Tuesday.
The convict reportedly beat his father after accusing him of being a wizard and preventing his wife from conceiving.
The police told the court that the convict on May 27, 2017, upon the complaint of his wife, punched his father and pushed him to the ground.
The prosecution told the court that even when a neighbour carried the sexagenarian into his room, the convict locked up the door on his father and returned the following day with a patent medicine dealer, only to find him dead in the room.
Justice Nkanang, while delivering judgement on the matter, held that the invitation of the patent medicine dealer by the convict was an indication that in spite of the unlawful assault on his father, he had no intention of causing his death.
“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 court held.
Justice Nkanang added, “The position of the law is 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.
“It is this law that vests the trial court with the power to convict for a lesser offence, 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, convicted Effiong for manslaughter and sentenced him to life imprisonment.