In a judgment delivered today at Akwa Ibom State High Court No 2, Abak Division, Justice Edem E Akpan discharged and acquited one Glory Bassey Dan on a one count charge of Murder.
The judge, after going through the submission of both the State (for Prosecution) and the Defence, in the course of the hearing and final addresses, concluded that there is no proof by the prosecution of the use of lethal weapon by the accused person to inflict injury on the deceased.
He said, “I do not believe the attempt of the prosecution to infer that the Cane the accused person collected from the deceased and caned him in retaliation caused the death of the deceased”.
The incident occurred May 5, 2016 when Glory Bassey, also known as Itoro Bassey Dan decided to confront the late father – Mr Bassey Dan Udo of Mbiakpan Atan, Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area with what she referred to as her problems.
According to the statement she volunteered to the police at the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation, when she visited the father on that date, he refused to open the door. She forcibly gained access through the window, demanding to know why the father was silent about her sufferings. Her statement is that rather than respond to the question, the father pulled a cane he kept behind the door and caned her. In reaction, she said she snatched the Cane and caned the father twice before running out of the room with the father chasing. According to her, she fell down at the mother’s grave.
Meanwhile, she also told the police that her late mother revealed to her in the dream that the father is responsible for her sufferings through witchcraft.
When the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Insp Gabriel Sunday visited the scene he told court in his evidence that there was evidence of dried blood in the room. Surprisingly, the police failed to conduct autopsy on the Corpse to determine the cause of death.
Of the 3 witnesses called by the prosecution, none was an eye witness. The accused who was the only defense witness claimed that as at the time she collected the cane, caned her father in retaliation and left the compound, the father was not dead.
Citing many authorities including the position of the Supreme Court in Joseph Lori & Anor Vs the State (1980) NSCQR 212 at 225 where it is held that “A more useful medical evidence would not only have unequivocally established the cause of death but may have provided the necessary nexus between the death of the victim and the act of the accused, Justice Edem concluded that the prosecution has failed to prove her case beyond reasonable doubt.
“Therefore the issue of determination are resolved in favour of the defence,” he said. Accordingly, the case was dismissed.
O. P. Okpo Esq led Kokoette Eyo Esq and Idongest Timothy Esq for the State, while Nsisong Udofia Esq appeared for the Defence.