A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday convicted and sentenced three men on charges of kidnapping.
Although four suspects were arraigned in court for the kidnap of late Chief Abbot Ogbobula in June 2017, only three were convicted, while the fourth suspect was discharged and acquitted.
Speaking on the fourth suspect who was discharged, Goodnews Nwoka, counsel to (fourth suspect), Augustine Ojekudo, told Channels Television that “he is very, very happy, he was only trying to help and that got him into trouble. He was the CSO of the LGA and even arrested the 1st defendant, who he handed over to the Police, but somehow, he was arrested”.
However, three men, identified as Boma Thompson, Emelike Mathias, and Daniel Thankgod, were convicted on four charges of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping, conspiracy to murder, and murder of late Chief Abbot Ogbobula.
Justice Monina Danagogo presided over the case.
Recall that in June 2017, the late Chief Ogbobula was kidnapped in Ahoada and taken by his abductors to Manikin Bush in Degema LGA, where he was held hostage and eventually died at the hands of his abductors.
He was buried in a shallow grave in the said bush, but his body was later exhumed in the course of a police investigation of the case. Four persons were charged to court on a four-count charge of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping, conspiracy to murder and murder the Late Chief Abbot Ogbobula.
Regarding count one charge (conspiracy to kidnap), the 1st, 2nd and 4th Defendants were convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment with no option of fine.
In respect of count two ((the kidnapping of Late Chief Abbot Ogbobula), the 1st, 2nd and 4th Defendants were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.
Meanwhile, on count three charges (conspiracy to murder Late Chief Abbot Ogbobula), the 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants were convicted and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with no option of fine.
Also, on count four (murder of Chief Abbot Ogbobula), the 1st,2nd and 4th Defendants were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging or by lethal injection.
The development comes amid the rise in kidnapping and insecurity across Nigeria.
DAILY POST reported that tension gripped an Abuja community after kidnappers killed three of 10 abducted victims over a delay in the payment of over N700 million ransom.
There was also the case of Naheeba Al-Kadriyar, a 400-level biological science student at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, who was killed recently by kidnappers in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the Police had pledged renewed efforts to nip the nationwide insecurity situation in the bud.