Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Monday sentenced a technician, Rasak Abiona to death for killing his 62-year-old father with an iron rod during a dispute over a property in Lagos.
The convict killed his father, Sunday, during a scuffle at the deceased’s residence in the Ejigbo area of the state on February 28, 2012.
Justice Taiwo, who delivered the judgment in a virtual hearing, held that though the prosecution had presented circumstantial evidence against the middle-aged defendant during the trial, the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
She added that the convict confessional statements to the police implicated him and that during the trial, he did not present witnesses in court to back his claim that his father died after a fall.
The judge sentenced Abiona to death after finding him guilty of a murder charge contrary to Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.
She said: “This is a very unfortunate and sad case where a son kills his father.
“There is no doubt that by hitting the deceased with an iron rod on the head, the defendant intended to cause grievous bodily harm.
“The defendant could have easily overpowered his father, a 62-year-old man without hitting him on the head with an iron rod.
“This case is a clear indication of what anger and impatience can do in a man’s life.
“The court does not have the discretion to give a lesser punishment in a case of murder in view of Section 223 of the Criminal Law 2011.
“I hereby sentence the defendant to death for killing his father, Sunday Abiona. This is the sentence of the court.”
Earlier, before the sentence was delivered, the defence counsel, Mr. Obinna Mbagho, in his plea for mercy, urged the court to temper justice with mercy, noting that the Abiona was a first-time offender who had shown remorse.
The counsel said: “He has been in prison since 2013 and ever since his incarceration, his children have been scattered.”
However, the state prosecutor, Olakunle Ligali, requested for the maximum penalty for the crime.
“Under the Criminal Law of Lagos, when the crime has the ultimate penalty of death, the court has no discretion to mitigate the sentence.
“In fact, the court does not have the discretion to hear the plea for mercy,” Ligali said.