A palm wine tapper from Ikpe Ikot Akpa from Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Udo Effiong George, has been discharged and acquitted of murder by the state high court sitting in Ikot Ekpene.
The presiding judge, Justice Ntong Ntong held that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, hence the exoneration of the accused saying the evidence of the father of the deceased, Mr. Sunday Umoren made the court to be in doubt of who actually murdered his 25-year-old son as the evidence was merely based on suspicion.
He further added that the two Investigating Police Officers failed to present vital witnesses as their investigations were based on rumour adding that the evidence of the father of the deceased that his son, James Sunday fell down on his own and died before the accused used a bamboo stick to beat him.
The Court held that “the evidence of the accused that he met the father of the deceased and one of his sons, beating the deceased for embarrassing their family, by walking naked in the village, was not challenged, neither was the evidence that the deceased was epileptic and a sickle cell patient was challenged.”
The judge said the evidence left him in doubt of who killed the deceased and cannot act with speculation, imagination and sentiment to convict the accused person.
He pronounced, “In the light of this and in this wise, I respectfully hold that the prosecution has failed to prove this murder charge against the accused person beyond reasonable doubts. I hereby discharge and acquit the accused person, Udo Effiong George accordingly.”