An Ikeja High Court on Thursday sentenced for four men to death by hanging for robbing
and kidnapping Mrs. Gloria Emole, the younger sister to Emzor Pharmaceutical Managing Director, Chief Ebuka Okafor.
The convicts are Victor Chukwunonso, Ifeanyi Maduaka, Obinna Nwankwo, and Richard Nwabueze.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo held that the prosecution had proved the charges of conspiracy, robbery and kidnapping against the convicts.
Lawal-Akapo said: “The first defendant was arrested after the IMEI number of the victim’s Nokia phone number which got lost was inserted in another phone and it brought out all the information after he was arrested.
“He made a confessional statement that led to the arrest of second defendant .
” The provision of the law is that in the instant case, I have tested the statement and it passes 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 person has been established.
“On the whole, the prosecution has been able to establish the offence of conspiracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping,
” I have listened to all the allocutus by all the counsel but these are able young men and they have unleashed terror on people and they must therefore face the music.
“The defendants are sentenced to 10 years jail term each for the first count of 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 of kidnapping,”
NAN reports that the defence counsel, Mrs. Helen Ibeji, Mr. S.P. Okeke and Mrs. Scholastical Nwogu, in their allocutus. prayed the court to temper justice with mercy adding that the defendants were first-time offenders who had learnt their lessons the hard way.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr. Babajide Martins, however, urged there court to convict and sentence the defendants.
“My lord, the offences of kidnapping armed robbery are capital offences.
“The victim was very lucky to be alive as the offence the convicts committed were premeditated.
“I urge the court to sentence them accordingly,” Martin said.
NAN reports that the defendants committed the offences about 8.30 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2012 on Unity Close, Ogudu and were arraigned on July 13, 2013.
The defendants had since been remanded 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 in the company.
The prosecutor told the court that the defendants had kidnapped the victim when she was about to leave her residence.
Martin told th court that the victim was kidnapped, blindfolded thrown inside the booth and driven to an unknown area in Ikorodu.
The victim was later released on Nov. 22, 2012, after a ransom of 70,000 USD was paid by her husband.
During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses, who testified against the defendants.
According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened Sections 297,285 (2) a, and 291, of the Criminal laws of Lagos State 2015. (NAN)