A Nigerian has been sentenced to death by hanging for beating his father to death
The sentence was handed over to Rasak Abioma, a technician, by the Special Offences Court on Monday. His father was 62 before the ugly incident, following a dispute over a property in Lagos.
Delivering the judgment through virtual hearing, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo held that though the prosecution had presented circumstantial evidence against the middle-aged defendant during the trial, the state proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
She noted that the technician’s confessional statements to the police implicated him and that during the trial, the defendant did not present witnesses in court to back his claim that his father died after a fall.
Justice Taiwo sentenced Rasak after finding him guilty of a charge of murder contrary to Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.
She held: “This is a very unfortunate and sad case where a son kills his father. There is no doubt that by hitting the deceased with an iron rod on the head, the defendant intended to cause grievous bodily harm.
“The defendant could have easily overpowered his father, a 62-year-old man, without hitting him on the head with an iron rod. This case is a clear indication of what anger and impatience can do in a man’s life.
“The court does not have a discretion to give a lesser punishment in a case of murder in view of Section 223 of the Criminal Law 2011. I hereby sentence the defendant to death for killing his father, Sunday Abiona. This is the sentence of the court,” she ruled.
Earlier, before the sentence was delivered, the defence counsel, Obinna Mbagho, in his plea for mercy, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, noting that Rasak was a first-time offender who had shown remorse.
“He has been in prison since 2013 and ever since his incarceration, his children have been scattered,” Mbagho said.
Opposing the plea for mercy, the prosecutor for the state, Olakunle Ligali, requested for the maximum penalty for the crime.
Ligali said: “Under the Criminal Law of Lagos, when the crime has the ultimate penalty of death, the court has no discretion to mitigate the sentence.