Nigeria: Court Discharges Man Charged With Killing Pregnant Wife

9 October 2019

An FCT High Court in Maitama has discharged a man charged with the murder of his eight-month pregnant wife.

The man, Matthew Ankyoor, was tried before the court by the police on a three-count charge bordering on culpable homicide punishable with death.

The police alleged that on June 5, 2017 at about 8:30pm at Lugbe Area of Abuja, Ankyoor caused the death of his wife, Doorsu, who was eight-month-pregnant, by beating her severally and throwing her face on the ground with intention of causing her death, an offence punishable under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law.

He was also accused of causing the death of the unborn child.

Anykoor, 39, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

He filed a no-case submission on August 6 through his counsel, Ocheme Adams, submitting that the police had not established any prima facie case against him to warrant him to enter any defence.

This came after the prosecution counsel, Donatus Abah, informed the court that the prosecution was closing its case after calling two witnesses including the police officer who investigated the alleged crime.

While ruling on the no-case submission yesterday, Justice Peter Affen held that the evidence adduced by the prosecution fell short in establishing a prima facie case against the defendant.

This, according to the judge, would not warrant the court to call upon Anykoor to enter his defence.

"To do this would be tantamount to imposing on the defendant a misplaced burden of establishing his innocence, which would be inconsistent with the constitutional presumption of innocence under Section 36 (5) of the Constitution.

"Accordingly, I will and do hereby uphold the no-case submission and record an order discharging the defendant, Matthew Ankyoor on all charges preferred against him," Justice Affen held.

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