The Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Essien Udim has sentenced two brothers – a pastor and a motorcyclist – to death by hanging for killing a farmer over a parcel of land.
The convicts are Uduak Udo Umoren, 48-year-old pastor and his 34-year-old brother, Emmanuel Udo Umoren, popularly called ‘okada’.
They were found guilty for the murder of one Iboro Akpan Joe, a 45-year-old farmer and trader from Ikot Otu in Essien Udim Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that Joe had accompanied his sister-in-law in Adiasim Ikot Ekon to her late husband’s farm to assess how much she could sell the land and use the proceeds for his burial.
While on the farm, Emmanuel’s wife reportedly saw them and invited her husband to the land on the claim that someone was trying to bury a charm on their family land.
Emmanuel alongside his wife, her son and brother in-law were said to have attacked Joe with a machete and stabbed him on the farm.
Joe was said to have been beaten to a stupor and dragged to his family compound close to the farm, despite pleas from his sister-in-law and his wife, who heard him cry for help and rushed to the scene.
It was learnt that at the family compound, the two brothers continued to beat Joe until the Youth President of Adiasim Ikot Ekon Village and other members intervened, and rushed him to a hospital in Ikot Ekpene, where he was reportedly rejected.
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He was taken back home and died three days after.
The presiding judge, Justice Winifred Effiong, found the two brothers guilty of murder and sentenced them to death by hanging.
The court ruled that the prosecution team from the state Ministry of Justice proved the case beyond reasonable doubt that the brothers intentionally killed Joe.