Court jails kidnappers for 50 years in Delta

By Fegor Oghene, Asaba 

A Delta State High Court sitting at Sapele Judicial Division has sentenced five kidnappers to 50 years imprisonment for the kidnap of a septuagenarian trader, Mrs. Queen Ogbor. The court sentenced the five accused persons to 10 years in jail each for the offence of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and the substantive offence of kidnapping having been earlier pronounced guilty by the trial judge (name witheld). 

They were sentenced to 5 years each for count one (Conspiracy to commit kidnapping) and another 5 years each for count two (kidnapping) with hard labour. 

The convicted kidnappers, Fidelis Ochuko (25 years old driver), Kelvin Opuoma (21 years old bricklayer), Kelly Jonathan (20 years old student), Kevwe Itedjere and Joseph Enakpodia (a  20 year old Okada rider) pleaded not guilty to the two count information charge proffered against them by the Delta State Attorney-General when they took their plea at the commencement of trial. 

Prosecutor from the Delta State Ministry of Justice, T.E. Omenuwoma Esq had told the Court that the five accused persons, now convicted by the Court, on or about the 14th day of July, 2010 at Abraka, within the Isiokolo Judicial Division conspired and kidnapped their victim. 

The 70 years old trader was kidnapped having being ambushed by the five armed gang as she was driving into her premises around7pm and whisked away by foot. The incidence happened during a heavy downpour. 

However, luck ran against the kidnappers the next day before they could establish contact with their victim’s family for ransom as they were apprehended by security agents at their hideout having been traced through their footsteps while the kidnapped victim was rescued unhurt. 

The kidnappers were convicted under the old anti-kidnapping law that prescribed 10 years imprisonment for offenders. 

It will be recalled that the Delta State House of Assembly  recently amended  the Delta State  Anti-Kidnapping  Law  2016 prescribing life imprisonment  for convicted kidnappers.

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