A Delta State High Court sitting at the Sapele Judicial Division has sentenced five kidnappers to a total of 50 years in prison for kidnapping a septuagenarian trader, 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.
They were sentenced to five years each for count one (Conspiracy to commit kidnapping) and another five years each for count two (kidnapping) with hard labour.
The convicted kidnappers – Fidelis Ochuko (25-year-old driver), Kelvin Opuoma (21-year-old bricklayer), Kelly Jonathan (20-year-old student), Kevwe Itedjere and Joseph Enakpodia (20-year-old Okada rider) – pleaded not guilty to the two count 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, had told the Court that the five accused persons, now convicted by the Court, on or about July 14, 2010 at Abraka, within the Isiokolo Judicial Division, conspired and kidnapped their victim.
The 70-year-old trader was kidnapped having been ambushed by the five armed men as she was driving into her premises around 7pm was whisked away by foot.
The incident occured 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.
The kidnapped victim was rescued unhurt.
The kidnappers were convicted under the old anti-kidnapping law that prescribed 10 years imprisonment for offenders