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Man who hacked father to death in Akwa Ibom gets life imprisonment

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An Akwa Ibom State High Court, Ibiono Ibom division, has sentenced one Utibe Ita, an indigene of Nkim village in Ibiono Ibom local government area, to life imprisonment for killing his father. The presiding judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang, said Ita is to spend the rest of his life behind bars for committing manslaughter.

Ita was originally arraigned on a one-count charge of murder, but had the charge commuted to manslaughter. It was deduced from the confessional statement he made to the police that he has been having festering issues with his deceased father over some thorny family matters.

The bubble burst when the deceased, Mr. Oscar Ita, went missing between June 5 and 11, 2017 prompting his brother, Mr. Godwin Udoisang to initiate a search party. Udoissang, who testified in court, said he first inquired about his brother from the accused, who responded that he had not also seen him.

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He told court that he organised a search party to comb the surroundings and nearby bushes, which yielded no fruit until he decided to search for him in the late brother’s house, which he lived with the accused, where he discovered something like a heap of earth.

The body of the deceased was exhumed and an autopsy conducted indicating that the accused buried his late father still wearing his left shoe. From the confessional statement including autopsy report and police investigation, there was strong suspicion that the accused may have buried his father when he was not yet dead, since he confessed that he hit the man, “and he fell down”, adding that he “rushed” to a neighbour, begged and obtained a shovel used in digging the shallow grave.

Justice Nkanang noted that, “the prosecution has proven all the ingredients of murder. The court is persuaded to convict the accused of the offence of manslaughter. Consequently, the accused is sentenced to life imprisonment”.


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