A Bayelsa State High Court presided over by Justice Nayai Aganaba has sentenced a 30-year-old woman, Victoria Gagariga, to death by hanging for the killing of her husband, Henry Gagariga.
Victoria, a civil servant, and her deceased husband, a lawyer, both from Bayelsa, were said to have co-habited for some years before they got officially married in 2014, and lived at their residence along Ebisam Road in Akenfa suburb of Yenagoa, the state capital, where she killed him in February 2015.
Their union was yet to produce children before the incident happened.
Victoria, following a misunderstanding between them, stabbed Henry in the neck and he was confirmed dead by doctor at the hospital.
Justice Aganaba said the prosecution called six witnesses and produced seven exhibits to support its argument while the defence only had one witness who was the accused.
The Judge, who in his judgment reviewed the records of cross-examination of the witnesses, averred that the burden of proof that the accused committed the murder of Henry Gagariga rests with the prosecution in line with the three ingredients to prove a murder case.
He listed the three ingredients to include that the deceased died, that the death of the deceased was caused by the accused and that the action of the accused, which caused the death of the deceased, was intentional with the knowledge that death or grievous bodily harm was its probable consequence.
Aganaba further pointed out that the circumstantial evidence against the accused was overwhelming, stressing that all facts confirmed she was the only person with the deceased at the time of death and the only person to have the opportunity to kill him.
The Judge ruled that Victoria committed a murder of passion, which was a result of jealously as the couple were obsessed with each other.
He said, “It is unfortunate that I can only pronounce the sentence prescribed by law. I wish I had the discretion to do otherwise. However, that discretion rests with the Executive Governor of Bayelsa state.
“I am only left with the compulsion to pronounce the sentence prescribed by law. I hope the person with that discretion would look at the circumstance of this case and do the needful.
“I hereby pronounce my sentence. My sentence upon you is that you shall hang on the neck until you die. May the Lord have mercy on your soul.”