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Man sentenced to 20 years for killing own father

By Hudson Apunyo

Added 10th June 2017 09:06 AM

Godfrey Ekong, his uncle Abdu Owi, mother Hellen Otim Apili, all residents of Alaku village, Namasale Sub County in Amolatar were arrested in connection with the killing of Peter Otim on December 7, 2012.

Man sentenced to 20 years for killing own father

Ekong Godfrey (2R) being taken to Lira prison after he was given 20 years in prison for killing his father. Photos by Hudson Apunyo

Godfrey Ekong, his uncle Abdu Owi, mother Hellen Otim Apili, all residents of Alaku village, Namasale Sub County in Amolatar were arrested in connection with the killing of Peter Otim on December 7, 2012.

The High Court sitting in Lira has sentenced a man to 20 years after he pleaded guilty to killing his father by cutting his throat using a kitchen knife.

Godfrey Ekong, his uncle Abdu Owi, mother Hellen Otim Apili, all residents of Alaku village, Namasale Sub County in Amolatar were arrested in connection with the killing of Peter Otim on December 7, 2012.

Ekong had a misunderstanding with his father Otim and claimed that the father was bewitching his family and had separated with his mother Hellen Otim Apili.

When the case came up for hearing, all the accused pleaded not guilty but after state brought an eye witness, Ekong who is accused number one on the charge sheet changed his plea and pleaded guilty to the offence.

 
Court heard that in the month of October, Abdu Owii was allegedly heard stating that he would kill Peter Otim because he is a wizard.

On December 7, 2012, an eye witness saw Peter Otim moving towards Kiryanga Centre and moments later, he heard him shouting and asking why they wanted to kill him.

The witness flashed a torch and managed to see the son Ekong holding his father being assisted by the mother and uncle.

The witness made alarm and the convict and the other two accused persons turned against him but he fled the scene and told his wife what he saw. The following day he reported to police what had happened.

Police searched the houses of the accused persons and recovered a black trouser, a black jacket, a white t-shirt, and a sharp white knife, all with blood stains.

When passing judgment, Justice Dr. Winifred Nabisinde said she has taken into account that this was a vulnerable old man aged 76 years of age. He was at advance age of his life so losing his life at the hands of his son is something which the court finds very uncertain.

"I have looked at the impact which this offence will have on the victim's family, relatives and the community generally and I have also found that this offence is rampant in these areas where people take the law in their hands to take away the lives of others without thinking of the consequences," the judge said.

The judge said the state and defense said there is no previous criminal record against the convict and he is taken as first offender.

"However, when I wrap up all the mitigating and aggravating circumstances in this case, I find that the aggravating circumstances far outweighs the mitigating circumstances," she said.

Justice Nabisinde said the case attracts the death penalty under the law but she would not pass the death sentence because she believes this will not help him to reform and will not help him to live to understand the enormity of what he did to his own father.

The judge said she considered custodial sentence. She said the years would be 35 years imprisonment but since he pleaded guilty to the offence, she removed 10 years and deducted another five years he spent on remand and sentenced him to serve 20 years imprisonment.

His mother and uncle are to be tried by the same court.

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