A Lagos High Court, Ikeja on Monday sentenced Mr. Obot Friday to four years imprisonment for beating his 11-year-old son, Michael, to death in September 2009.
37-year-old Friday was said to have beaten his son with a kitchen spatula (commonly called garri turner) at their residence Ikeja for refusing to sleep at home the previous day.
The deceased who was hit on the head was rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, where he later died.
Justice Olabisi Akinlade in her judgment on Monday [Jan. 21] convicted Friday of manslaughter and ordered that the four-year jail term slammed on him would begin counting from October 9, 2009, which was when he had been on remand.
Akinlade said Friday’s confessional statement admitting hitting Michael with the spatula on his head which was the reason for which he was rushed to the hospital, was sufficient for the court to rely on to convict the accused.
“There is no evidence stronger than a person’s admission”, the judge said. The court also relied on the post-mortem report, which according to the judge, was tendered without objection.
“In the totality of the case, the prosecution successfully proved the case of manslaughter against the defendant. There is no justification for the defendant’s action”, Akinlade held.
Friday’s wife and mother of the deceased, Mercy, a witness of the incident, who had refused to testify during trial, had on June 15, 2011 interrupted the proceedings, pleading with the court to stop the trial of her husband.
Mercy had said if her husband, who had claimed to be working with a Lagos-based catering outfit, was convicted; it would be difficult for her to cope with the aftermath.
The convict was said to have beaten the deceased at his residence, 61, Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos.
In his statement before the court, Friday had claimed that he was angered by the deceased’s attitude when being questioned on why he left home without permission.
He stated further that the reaction of the deceased was a further corroboration of a prophecy that the boy was a witch and that he had in the past “confessed to being involved in witchcraft”.