Court sentences four to death by hanging for kidnapping, armed robbery
An Ikeja High Court on Thursday sentenced four men to death by hanging for armed robbery.
The convicts are Victor Chukwunonso, Ifeanyi Maduaka, Obinna Nwankwo and Richard Nwabueze.
The court found them guilty of armed robbery and kidnapping of Gloria Emole, the younger sister of the Managing Director of Emzor Pharmaceutical Company, Chief Ebuka Okafor.
Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo held that the prosecution proved the charges of conspiracy, robbery and kidnapping against the convicts beyond all reasonable doubt.
Mr Lawal-Akapo said: “The first defendant was arrested after the IMEI number of the victim’s Nokia phone which got lost, was inserted into another phone and it brought out all the information.
“He made a confessional statement that led to the arrest of the second defendant. I have tested the statement and it passed all conditions.
“The confessional statement that the first defendant worked with the victim’s elder brother was collaborated by other witnesses.
“I rely on the confessional statement, and the guilt of the accused persons has been established.”
Mr Lawal-Akapo said that prosecution established the offences of conspiracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping against the convicts.
“I have listened to all the allocutus by all the counsel but these are able young men who have unleashed terror on people, and they must therefore face the music.
“The defendants are sentenced to 10 years jail each for the first count, conspiracy.
“They are also hereby sentenced to death by hanging for the second count of armed robbery, and consequently sentenced to 21 years’ imprisonment for the third count, kidnapping.”
Defence counsel, Helen Ibeji, S.P. Okeke and Scholastical Nwogu, in their allocutus, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, saying that the defendants were first-time offenders who had learnt their lessons.
Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Dr Babajide Martins, however, urged the court to convict and sentence the defendants in accordance with the law.
“My lord, kidnapping and armed robbery are capital offences.
“The victim was very lucky to be alive as the offences the convicts committed were premeditated.
“I urge the court to sentence them accordingly,” Mr Martin said.
The defendants committed the offences at 8:30 a.m. on November 19, 2012, on Unity Close, Ogudu, Lagos State
They were arraigned on July 13, 2013.
The defendants had been in prison custody.
The prosecution submitted that the first convict was a former employee of the victim’s elder brother who was sacked after he fought.
Prosecution told the court that the defendants kidnapped the victim when she was about to leave her residence.
Mr Martins said that the victim was kidnapped, blindfolded, thrown inside the booth of a car and driven to an unknown area in Ikorodu, Lagos.
He said that the victim was later released on November 22, 2012, after a ransom of 70,000 dollars was paid by her husband.
During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses, who testified against the defendants.
The offences contravene Sections 297, 285 (2) and 291 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.
More from Peoples Gazette
Katsina youths pledge to deliver over 2 million votes to Atiku
“Katsina State is Atiku’s political base because it is his second home.”
SSS arrests suspended Emefiele
This comes after President Bola Tinubu suspended Mr Emefiele, replacing him with Adebisi Sonubi, the deputy governor in charge of operations.
NPFL Super 6: Rivers United, Enyimba, Remo Stars record wins
Mbaoma Chijioke, who stepped in for sick Emeka Obioma, scored the fastest goal of the playoffs so far to put Enyimba upfront in the third minute.
Genocide ongoing in Plateau state; 150 killed in last three weeks: Caleb Mutfwang
The governor said Mr Tinubu had assured him that the country’s security architecture would be rejigged to tackle insecurity across the country.
Tinubu removes Godwin Emefiele as CBN governor; taps Adebisi Sonubi as replacement
The dismissal was announced on Friday.
Kwankwaso escaped my slap at Presidential Villa: Ganduje
Mr Ganduje also said he had petitioned the police to address the looting and vandalisation that trailed the demolition.
I will run an open government, Tinubu assures traditional rulers
‘‘We may not have it right 100 per cent of the time but we must get it right 90 per cent of the time for this country,’’ he said.