Tuesday, 7th December 2021
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

31-year-old man to die by hanging for kidnapping in Akwa Ibom

By Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh, Uyo
26 November 2021   |   3:06 am
Justice Augustine Odokwo of an Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene, has sentenced a 31-year-old man to death for kidnapping a four-year-old boy, who has not been found till date.

Justice Augustine Odokwo of an Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene, has sentenced a 31-year-old man to death for kidnapping a four-year-old boy, who has not been found to date.

The convict, Ekerete Michael Ukpong, who hails from Udok Atai in Ikono Local Council was sentenced to death after Justice Odokwo found him guilty of kidnapping, an offence punishable by death, under section 1 of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.

In an hour judgment, the judge held that the prosecuting counsel has notified the court that the victim, a 4-year-old Success Amos Kalu, a native of Ohafia in Abia State, who was kidnapped in September 25, 2015, at Ibiakpan Akananwan, Ikot Ekpene, is yet to be found.

He said kidnapping is prevalent in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large, hence, all hands must be on deck to rid the society of the menace, which he noted, “has assumed a hydra-headed dimension.”

The Court held that “the convict is taking the punishment alone, although records show that he acted in consent with others, who are now at large.”

According to Justice Odokwo, the judgment should send a clear signal to all and sundry that the full weight of the law will descend on kidnappers.

“I have gone through Section 1 (2) of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law 2009, the section that provides for punishment for the offence of kidnapping. That section of the law provides for only one punishment. I will in this circumstance, follow the law and the law only. The sentence of this Court against the convict is death.

“His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State will determine the means and place of the execution within the state,” the court ruled.

Before the sentence, Justice Odokwo had changed to a black cap, with the convict weeping uncontrollably in the courtroom, before he was whisked away by officials of the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ikot Ekpene.