Two men, Joseph Etim and Christopher Macaulay, were sentenced to death by hanging by the High Court, presided over by Justice Okon Okon, for killing their uncle, Imo Edet, over landed property.
Imeobong Edet, the third accused person who allegedly sent them to commit the crime, died in custody and his name was struck from the case.
On Wednesday, Etim and Macaulay, who were from Akpautong and Obio Aduang, both in the state’s Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, were sentenced.
The court found the accused persons guilty of murder, punishable by death under Section 326 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 38, Vol. 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, 2000, according to Justice Okon.
According to him, the convicts confessed that the deceased’s elder brother hired them to kill him because he refused to give him (Imeobong) their late father’s landed property.
The convicts claimed Imeobong promised them a piece of the property if they killed his brother, which they did on November 19, 2016.
The court found “admissible evidence that the victim died instantly following an attack by the accused, who inflicted machete cuts on his head and slit his throat with a knife,” according to the ruling.
The killing was “deliberate and intentional,” according to Justice Okon, who described it as “gory and gruesome.”
He stated that the prosecution’s evidence, which included statements from the deceased’s wife and son, as well as the accused persons’ confessions, satisfied the essential elements of murder.
The judge stated that an accused person could be found guilty solely on the basis of his confessional statement that was proven to the court’s satisfaction.
“This court has sentenced you, Joseph Usen Etim and Christopher Sunday Macaulay, to be hanged by your necks until you are dead.” Justice Okon added, “May God have mercy on your souls.”