An Ikeja High court today sentenced 29-year-old housewife, Onyinyechi Akunne, to seven years imprisonment for stabbing to death her 35-year-old husband, Abuchi Akunne, with a kitchen knife during an argument over lotto tickets known as “Baba Ijebu” at their apartment at No. 85, Idimu Road, Ejigbo, a suburb of Lagos on March 28th 2015.
The presiding judge, Justice Josephine Oyefeso, sentenced her to prison after she pleaded guilty to causing bodily harm to her husband as against the initial charge of murder. Justice Oyefeso rejected a clause in the plea bargain agreement where it was proposed that Akunne should serve a sentence of community service instead of a prison term.
“In view of the defendant’s pleading guilty, I hereby find her guilty of one-count charge of grievous bodily harm. I hereby sentence her to seven years in prison starting from the day she remanded in prison custody which was March 28, 2015,” Oyefeso said.
Before she pronounced the sentenced, Akunne’s counsel, Mrs P.O. Onu, asked the court to temper justice with mercy as Akunne was a mother to a one year-seven month old daughter.
“The defendant is a first-time offender, she is a mother of a toddler which she gave birth to while in prison custody. Her daughter is a year-and-seven months old, she still has a lot to offer to the society” Onu said.
Justice Oyefeso however ordered that Akunne’s daughter who has been with her in prison since 2015, be transfered to her relatives once she is weaned.
The Lagos state prosecutor, Mrs C.K. Tuiyi-Carena, had told the court how Akunne killed her husband.
“On the day of the alleged murder, Onyinyechi was preparing a meal while Abuchi was sitting on a chair in their home looking at his “Baba Ijebu” lottery tickets. Angered by her husband’s action, Onyinyechi scolded him for his love for gambling and a fight ensued between them. She took the kitchen knife she was using to cut vegetables and stabbed her husband fatally in the chest. The stabbing inflicted a deep cut in Abuchi’s chest which led to excessive blood loss and his eventual death. The victim died before he could be taken to a hospital by Onyinyechi and concerned neighbours,” she said.
Akunne was pregnant when the offence was committed and she gave birth to a baby girl while in custody at the Kirikiri Female Prisons. Akunne’s baby was in court when she was sentenced.