By ITORO GODWIN
After a four-year legal battle, justice has come for the family of 32-year-old Regina, who was killed by her husband, Nkem Iheanacho, an engineer and father of three children.
More importantly, her corpse, which had been in the mortuary all through the four-year trial of the suspect, can now be finally buried.
Justice Raliat Adebiyi of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja convicted and sentenced Iheanacho to 15 years imprisonment for manslaughter.
Nkem was arrested by the police for killing his wife at their residence, No 3 Calvary Street Iyana Isashi Lagos, and charged to court by the state government, for committing the offence, contrary to Section 227 of Criminal Law of Lagos State.
The deceased, Regina hailed from Nsit Ibium, Local Government of Akwa Ibom State.
In sentencing the convict, Justice Adebiyi said that Nkem being an educated man had knowledge of the implications of his action. The court held that the convict had responsibility to take care of the deceased and not to turn her into punching bag or treat her like animal.
Allocuting for the convict, his lawyer, Mr. Spurgeon Ataene urged the court to temper justice with mercy and give the convict another opportunity given that he has three children.
Responding, the prosecutor, Ms Olusoga urged the court to do substantial justice in the case. Counsel to the family of Regina, Silas Udoh, while briefing journalists expressed joy over the outcome of the case.
He said: “I am very happy that justice has finally taken its full course because many people thought that the case would be swept under the carpet. Today will be exactly four years our daughter was killed and she is still in mortuary while we are here seeking justice for her before burial.”
Also commenting, National President, Association of Akwa-Ibom and Cross River State, Etubom Unyime Samson, said: “I will say it is a fair judgement. Even though it took a long period. I know when we first took the case to court, we received threat of being killed and kidnapped if we should carry on with it. But today it is a dream come true for us.”
He said although they were not legally married under the law but where living together and the deceased bore him children (two boys and a girl) we even learnt from the witnesses, a sister of the deceased, who testified for the prosecution, the victim defecated twice before she was strangulated to death.
He added that the autopsy report proved that there were marks all over the body of the deceased.
Mrs Nsikak Ukpanam, Personal Assistant to the wife of the Akwa Ibom State governor said this would serve as a deterrent to young men who beat up their wives. “We have taken it as a duty to help our people here at home and in Diaspora to maintain our slogan, Daakada, which means to stand up for good and speak out against injustice,” Ukpanam said.
Justice Adebiyi said her judgement is to serve as a lesson to others who are fond of committing domestic violence to stop such act.
I don’t want to die homeless
–Septuagenarian with trapped savings cries
By Ikenna Okafor
The dream of a 78-year old man, Pa Stephen Bamgbade to build his personal house is currently being threatened as the money he had saved over the years for the same purpose is trapped without any ray of hope.
The septuagenarian who retired as an engineer in the Department of Educational Technology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in Osun State, said he had for number of years saved money with Union Homes Saving and Loans PLC in order to have his dream of building his personal house fulfilled.
According to him, he had patiently increased his deposits while he prayed for it to yield interests. However, he is afraid that he might lose all he had saved as attempts to get his money from the homes have failed to yield any positive result.
‘’I travelled from Ibadan to Lagos on several occasions in a bid to collect my money but I am yet to receive an answer from Union Homes Savings and Loans. Please I need my N6.1 million I had saved over the years.
The septuagenarian called on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to help in the recovery of the trapped money.
“I don’t want to die before I collect my lifetime savings, Union Homes Savings and Loans should release my money. When efforts to get the money paid into my account did not yield any result I visited their head office at Onipanu in Lagos but they kept giving me excuses that I don’t find plausible. .
“At my age, I have shuttled between Ibadan and Lagos on several occasions not minding the risk of motor accident and other danger on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Some days, I would travel and end up sleeping over in Lagos for three or four days. I have been having sleepless nights and all forms of hallucinations and my health has been adversely affected by this sad development.
“I toiled and laboured day and night for the money. Now at almost 80 years of age
they expect me to lose the money, never!”
When Sunday Sun visited the head office of the company at Onipanu in Lagos, an official of the company who identified herself as Mrs. U.H.Talabi blamed the situation on the acquisition of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc by Aso Savings and Loans Plc.
While stating that there are plans to pay Pa Bamgbade and others, Mrs. Talabi pleaded for patience and understanding from the affected individuals.