By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
A High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State, has sentenced a student of the Department of Banking and Finance at his Higher National Diploma (HND) level at the State Polytechnic, Oghara, Collins Okoro and Ejemuta Adam Ogofure, a driver and native of Canan Community, Isoko South Local Government area to death by firing squad.
The presiding judge, Justice A.A. Onojovwo on Friday sentenced the two of them to death by firing squad or hanging for kidnapping and armed robbery at Oleh in Isoko South Local Government and its environs.
The court however, discharged the 3rd accused person, a 24 -year old Jonny Oghenemairo of all charges for want of sufficient evidence but he was sternly warned to desist from committing crime as he might not be lucky when arrested again.
The Judge said after listening to the prosecuting counsel that Collins Okoro who hails from Ekieugbo, Ughelli North local government of the State and Ejemuta Adams Ogofure are guilty of the charge of conspiracy to commit 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 said they are to die for kidnapping Mr. Ogboghro Vincent, a Polytechnic Don with the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro who was kidnapped by the criminal gang on the 7th day of May, 2012 at Irri town, within the Oleh Judicial Division.
The judge also held that the accused robbed their victim of his Honda Accord (Baby Boy) car with registration No. AL 51 LEH, and even placed a ransom of N5m before he could be released
According to the trial Judge the prosecuting Counsel from the Delta State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Jereoma Sam-Oligida had proved the case 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 said that the 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.
They were both slammed with a sentence of five years imprisonment each for conspiracy to commit kidnapping and seven years imprisonment each respectively for kidnapping, under the old law that prescribed a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment for offenders.
Counsel to the State, Mrs. Jereoma Sam-Oligida 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 Otrofani, Bayelsa State where he was unlawfully kept for days while a ransom of N5m was demanded from his family for his release.
The court was further told that a ransom of N700, 000 was paid after all to his captors before he regained freedom after 10 days in captivity.
According to the prosecution, the convicts with others now at large are members of a criminal gang terrorizing Oleh, Irri, Aviara and its environ bet were arrested when they attempted to kidnap one Mrs. Precious Ibenegbu at Oleh as their vehicle got stuck in a muddy road which their victim harped on to raise an alarm.
The Judge held that the accused persons also robbed one Blessing Ese, a former Counselor of his Honda Accord car with registration no BP 134 GWA and other valuables on the 21June, 2012 while armed with guns.