Following six years of trial, an Ikeja High Court yesterday condemned a kidnapper, Emeka Obasim to 42 years imprisonment for the kidnap of Jude Ugoje and Miss Piriye Ogogo.
Chief Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo passed on the sentence subsequently after finding the convict guilty of three-count charge out of the 12-count charges favored as a detriment to him by the Lagos State government.
Emeka Obasim, 33, was indicted on three-count charges verging on kidnapping, conspiracy and burglary, in opposition to sections 231, 221 and 269 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
He was summoned close by four different respondents under the steady gaze of the court six years ago on a 12-count verging on kidnapping, murder, conspiracy, outfitted theft, and sexual molestation.
Alternate defendants charged with Obasim are: Kelvin Emenike Ukoh, 32; Uche Ubani, 28; Chibuzor Osuagwu, 29; Onowu Nzozi, 37.
In her judgment, Justice Taiwo who released the convict and three others of the charge of murder, be that as it may, discovered him guilty of the kidnapping, conspiracy and armed robbery accusations.
As indicated by the judge, the court is of the supposition that the fourth defendant, Emeka Obasim and the first defendant who is now at large are part of the kidnap gang.
“I thusly convict the defendant, Emeka Obasim of three-count charge of kidnap, conspiracy and armed robbery.
“For the kidnap charge, he is condemned to 16 years imprisonment, conspiracy five years and armed roberry 21 years. “The sentences will run simultaneously,” she said.
The judge likewise requested the council to show the first defndant, Ukoh, who is as of now on the run to sentencing at whatever point he is captured.
She however, discharged and acquainted Kelvin Emenike, Uche Ubani and Onowu Nzozi of the charges.
Justice Taiwo cautioned the trio that was released to cease from the wrongdoing; else they end up in court once more.
“You probably won’t be this fortunate whenever, so flee from crime,” she said.
Earlier, the prosecution team led by Mrs K.O Sarumi had told the court that the convict and other defendants committed the crime in August, 2012 at about 8p.m. in Festac Town in Lagos.
Sarumi said they kidnapped one Mr Jude Ugoji and his colleague Piriye Ogogo after the close of the day’s work.
Jude who was the first prosecution witness had narrated to the court how he was kidnapped.
“I was attacked on my way back from work when I pulled over to drop off my colleague who usually join me on my way home.
“I was attacked by armed men and taken to an uncompleted building in an unknown place.
“They blind-folded me while I was being taken away. They also asked me for the contact of someone that can pay for my ransom.
“I gave them the phone number of my MD (managing director), and they demanded the sum of N10 million from him, and after much negotiations, they agreed to collect the sum of N5 million which was paid to them.
“The ransom was paid by my MD’s brother, Paul Cole.”
Another victim Piriye, who also gave evidence before the court said she was in the same car with Jude when he was kidnapped and one of the kidnappers, the fourth defendant molested her by fondling her breasts and he only left her when she told him that she was on her menstruation and have to dip her finger into her pants to show him the blood.
Piriye further told the court that the gang also took away her belongings, including her phone, salary, jewelries and her handbag.
While pleading for leniency, the defence prayed the court to tamper justice with mercy and pass a light sentence on him.
“My lord, he is a young man, he has learnt his lessons, he has been in detention for over five years, we urge my Lord to show him mercy,” he said to him leniency,” he said.