A State High Court in Bayelsa on Tuesday, sentenced to death by hanging a 30-year-old Victoria Gagariga for the killing of her husband, Henry Gagariga, on February 4, 2015, at the residence along Ebisam Road in Akenfa, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Delivering his judgement, Justice Nayai Aganaba said he was convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that the deceased, a lawyer from Sagbama Local Government Area, was killed by his wife.
The convict, Victoria, hails from Brass Local Government Area and is an employee of the Bayelsa Arts and Culture and had been cohabiting for years before the couple decided to legalise their union in 2014. The union was yet to produce children before the incident.
Victoria reportedly stabbed her husband on the neck on the day after a misunderstanding between herself and her deceased husband who was confirmed dead on arrival at the hospital.
Before the judgement, the judge disclosed that the prosecution called six witnesses and produced seven exhibits while the defence only had one witness who was also the accused.
He said the onus of proof that the accused committed the murder of her husband rested with the prosecution in line with the three ingredients to prove a murder case.
According to him, the ingredients included 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.
The judge who pointed out that the circumstantial evidence against the accused was overwhelming, said all facts confirmed that she was the only person with the deceased at the time of death and the only person to have the opportunity to have killed him.
According to him Victoria committed a murder of passion which was a result of jealously as the couple were obsessed with each other.
“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 Governor of Bayelsa State.
“I am only left with the compulsion to pronounce the sentence prescribed by law. I hope that person with the discretion would look at the circumstance of this case and do the needful. My sentence upon you is that you shall hang on the neck until you die,” he ruled.