WARRI/Nigeria: A Delta State High Court sitting at Warri Judicial Division has sentenced two members of a notorious gang of armed robbers and kidnappers to death by hanging or firing squad.
The Court presided over by Honourable Justice A.A. Onojovwo on Friday, June 30, 2018, while delivering its judgment found Ejemuta Adam Ogofure, a driver and native of Canan Community in Isoko South Local Government and Collins Okoro, from Ekieugbo, Ughelli North local government, who guilty of the charges of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery, kidnapping, attempted kidnap and demanding property with menace.
Justice Onojovwo who condemned the criminal acts of the two accused persons for their complexity in multiple armed robbery operations were sentenced for kidnapping Mr. Ogboghro Vincent, a lecturer with the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro who was kidnapped by the criminal gang on the 7th day of May, 2012 at Irri, within the Oleh Judicial Division and also robbed him of his Honda Accord (Baby Boy) car with registration No. AL 51 LEH. And thereafter demanded a ransom of N5million naira before for his released
In his verdict, the trial Judge ruled that prosecuting Counsel from the Delta State Ministry of Justice, Jereoma Sam-Oligida (Mrs.) had proved beyond reasonable doubt the essential ingredients of the crime of conspiracy to kidnap one Mr. Ogboghro Vincent, and the attempted kidnap of one Mrs Precious Ibenegbu.
Justice Onojovwo also held that prosecution was able to establish the case of the substantial offence of kidnapping and multiple armed robberies against two out of the three accused persons arraigned before the court on a 10 count charge.
The court however, discharged the 3rd accused person, 24 years old Jonny Oghenemairo of all charges for want of sufficient evidence but was seriously warned to desist from committing crime as he might not be lucky when arrested again.
The trial Judge outside sentencing Ejemuta Adam Ogofure and Collins Okoro to death by hanging for the offences of armed robberies also slammed both defendants with a sentence of 5 years imprisonment each for conspiracy to commit kidnapping and 7 years imprisonment each for kidnapping.
The defendants were said to be terrorizing Oleh in Isoko South Local Government and its environs were charged under the old law that prescribed a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment for offenders.
Counsel to the State, Jereoma Sam-Oligida (Mrs.) through prosecuting witnesses had told the Court that after Mr. Ogboghro Vincent was kidnapped and robbed of his car and other valuables, he was whisked away to somewhere around Otrofani, Bayelsa State where he was unlawfully kept while a ransom of N5 million naira was demanded from his family members before his release.
The court was further told that a ransom of N700, 000 was eventually paid to his captors before he regained freedom after spending 10 days in captivity.
The convicts with others now at large were said to be members of a criminal gang responsible for terrorizing Oleh, Irri, Aviara and its environ before they met their waterloo when they attempted to kidnap one Mrs. Precious Ibenegbu at Oleh when their vehicle got stuck in a muddy road and their victim harped on the situation to raise an alarm.
The armed group was also responsible for series of armed robbery and kidnapping operations within the headquarters of Isoko South and surrounding communities.
They were also sentenced to death for robbing one Honourable Blessing Ese, a former Counsellor of his Honda Accord car with registration no BP 134 GWA and other valuables on the 21st June, 2012 while armed with guns.