A banker, Mr Theophilus Ajakaiye, has been sentenced to death by hanging by an Abia State High Court for the October 12, 2009 murder of his wife, Theodora at Azumini Ndoki in the Ukwa Judicial Division of the state.
The charge read, “The accused person is charged with one-count of murder contrary to Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Vol. 11, Cap 30 Laws of Eastern Nigeria, 1963, applicable in Abia State.”
Until her death, Theodora was an employee of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Her murder had set off a legal battle between her family and the accused.
In his judgement, the Presiding Judge, Justice T.U. Uzokwe, said that having heard from the accused person, learned counsel for the accused and the prosecuting counsel, the offence carried a mandatory sentence which is death.
He said that the court had no power to reduce the sentence and that being the case, he had no option but to sentence the accused.
The judge said, “Though the accused was not seen killing the deceased, I find that the accumulated circumstantial facts proved that the accused indeed murdered his wife, Theodora Ajakaiye.
“Suffice it to say that I find the accused guilty as charged and I convict him accordingly.”
The sentence read, “Theophilus Ajakaiye – the sentence of this court upon you is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead and may the merciful Lord have mercy on your soul.”
In the allocutus, counsel for the accused pleaded mercy on behalf of his client.
He said, “I thank the court for this well-considered judgement. The accused has no criminal record. We plead for mercy. There are two children to the marriage and they have already lost their mother.
The convict is yet to file for appeal against the judgement.