A Lagos high court sitting in Ikeja on Monday sentenced a 29-year-old housewife, Onyinyechi Akunne, to seven years imprisonment.
That was after the court convicted Onyinyechi of the offence of stabbing to death her 35-year-old husband, Abuchi Akunne, with a kitchen knife during an argument at home over lotto tickets known as “Baba Ijebu”.
The case was settled through plea bargain.
The prosecution had initially charged her with murder.
But after Onyinyechi entered a plea bargain with the prosecutor, the charge was changed from murder to charge of causing grievous bodily harm to which she pleaded guilty.
The trial judge though endorsed the agreement between the prosecution and the defence, Justice Josephine Oyefeso however rejected a clause in the plea bargain agreement where it was proposed that the housewife should do a sentence of community service instead of a prison term.
“In view of the defendant’s pleading guilty, I hereby find her guilty of one-count charge of grievous bodily harm.
“I hereby sentence her to seven years in prison starting from the day she was remanded in prison custody which was March 28, 2015,” Oyefeso said.
Before the sentence was pronounced, Akunne’s counsel, P.O. Onu, in her allocutus , told the court to temper justice with mercy.
“The defendant is a first-time offender, she is a mother of a toddler which she gave birth to while in prison custody. Her daughter is a year-and-seven months old, she still has a lot to offer to the society,” Mrs. Onu said.
The judge ordered that the convict’s daughter after weaning her, should be removed from the female prison and be kept in the custody of the relations.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during Mrs. Akunne’s arraignment on March 6, the State Prosecutor, C.K. Tuiyi-Carena, had told the court that the accused committed the offence on March 28, 2015 at her residence located at No. 85, Idimu Road, Ejigbo, a suburb of Lagos.
“On the day of the alleged murder, Onyinyechi was preparing a meal while Abuchi was sitting on a chair in their home looking at his “Baba Ijebu” lottery tickets.
“Angered by her husband’s action, Onyinyechi scolded him for his love for gambling and a fight ensued between them.
“She took the kitchen knife she was using to cut vegetables and stabbed her husband fatally in the chest.
“The stabbing inflicted a deep cut in Abuchi’s chest which led to excessive blood loss and his eventual death.
“The victim died before he could be taken to a hospital by Onyinyechi and concerned neighbours,” she said.
Mrs. Akunne was pregnant when the offence was committed and she gave birth to a baby girl while in custody at the Kirikiri Female Prisons.
The toddler was in court with her mother for the sentence.