A twenty-eight-year-old housewife, Mrs. Mary Attah, was yesterday condemned to death by hanging by an Effurun High Court for stabbing her husband, who was a pastor, with a kitchen knife before setting him ablaze.
The court presided over by Justice Edward I. Oritsejafor, sentenced the accused person to death having been pronounced guilty of the one count charge proffered against her by the Delta State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
The prosecution lawyer, Patrick Mekako Esq, had told the court that the accused, who was married to Darlington Attah (now deceased) with four children, 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.
Not satisfied, she doused her husband, who was already weak as a result of excessive bleeding with fuel and set him ablaze. He later gave up the ghost at the Warri Central Hospital where he was rushed to.
Justice Oritsejafor, while delivering the verdict, 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.
“I must also add that the evidence before this court do not and cannot support the plea of self-defense in favour of the accused person. I agree with the prosecution that there is just no possible defense 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, which was to kill the deceased or do him grievous bodily harm.
“From the evidence before this court and in particular the extrajudicial statement of the accused person, Exhibit A and the evidence of Principal Witness PW1 and PW2, which corroborates and is consistent with the facts contained in the extrajudicial statement, I hold that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person murdered her deceased husband on or about July 6, 2012.
“I find the accused person guilty of the murder of Darlington Attah as charged. The accused person is 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 pronounced.