Sylvester Idowu in Warri
A 28 years old housewife, Mrs. Mary Attah, has been sentenced to death by hanging by an Effurun High Court for stabbing her husband who was a pastor with a kitchen knife and setting him ablaze.
The Judge, Justice E.I Oritsejafor, pronounced the accused guilty of the one-count charge preferred against her by the Delta State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
The offence is punishable under Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C21, Volume 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.
While delivering the judgement, Justice Oritsjafor held that the prosecution led by an Assistant Director, Mr. Patrick Mekako, was able to prove beyond all reasonable doubt the essential ingredients of the offence of murder against the accused person.
“I must also add that the evidence before this court does not and cannot support the plea of self defence in favour of the accused person. I agree with the learned Assistant Director for the prosecution that there is just no possible defence to avail the accused person when she stabbed her deceased husband in the neck with a knife and thereafter doused him with fuel before she struck the match on him,” he ruled.
Justice Oritsjafor held that the intention was to kill the deceased or do him grievous bodily harm.
“The law is trite that a man intends the natural consequences of his act. From the evidence before this court and in particular the extrajudicial statement of the accused person, Exhibit A and the evidence of PW1 and PW2 which corroborates and is consistent with the facts contained in the said extrajudicial statement, Exhibit A, I hold that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person murdered her deceased husband on or about the 6th day of July, 2012, and I find the accused person guilty of the murder of Darlington Attah as charged. Accused person is accordingly, hereby convicted of the offence of murder.
“The sentence of this Court upon you, Mary Attah, is death by hanging by the neck till you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul”, the court declared.
Prosecution, Patrick Mekako had told the Court that the accused who was married to Darlington Attah (now deceased) with four children, on or about the 6th day of July, 2012 at Effurun within the Effurun Judicial Division did attack her husband with a kitchen knife and stabbed him in the neck as a result of an alleged phone call from the husband’s lover.
The Court was further told that the accused was infuriated by the telephone call at a time they were having a ‘nice time’ which prompted her to rush to the kitchen, collected the knife and armed herself with grounded pepper which she rubbed on her husband’s face to immobilize him before stabbing him in the neck.
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