A Delta State High Court, sitting in Effurun on Monday sentenced one Mrs. Mary Attah, to death by hanging for stabbing her husband, Pastor Darlington Attah, with a kitchen knife and setting him ablaze.
The prosecution counsel, Patrick Mekako Esq, told the court that the 28-year-old housewife who was married to the deceased, with four children, had on or about 6 July, 2012 at Effurun, within the Effurun Judicial Division, attacked 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 prosecutor said, “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, took a knife and pepper which she rubbed on her husband’s face to demobilize him before stabbing him in the neck.
“The convict doused the husband who was already weak as a result of excessive bleeding with fuel and set him ablaze.
“He later died at the Warri Central Hospital where he was rushed to,” the prosecutor said, adding that the offence is punishable by death under Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C21, Volume 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.
“The accused is facing a one-count charge bodering on murder.”
The Chief Judge, Justice E.I. Oritsejafor, held that the prosecution was able to prove beyond all reasonable doubt the essential ingredients of the offence of murder against the accused person.
In his ruling, the judge said, “I must also add that the evidence before this Court do 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.
“Her 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 extra-judicial statement of the accused person, Exhibit A and the evidence of PW1 and PW2 which corroborate and 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.
“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 judge ruled.