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Court Sentences 3 Persons To Death By Hanging, Discharges 2 Others In Edo

Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting

An Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City has sentenced three persons to death by hanging for armed robbery and kidnapping.

The three persons Solomon Abuede, James Monday and Kelvin Edward were convicted for the kidnap and murder of one Ephraim Akhere in Ihumudumu Quarters, Ekpoma, headquarters of Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State on June 13, 2014.

Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh, the High Court said that the offences are punishable under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Prohibition Amendment Law of Edo State 2013 and the Arm Robbery and Fire Arms Act.

The court also sentenced one Oviasogie Sunday, alias Alhaji of Kano to life imprisonment for receiving an Infinity Jeep with registration number EFR 218 FB, property of the late Ephraim Akhere which was stolen after the murder.

They were among the six persons arraigned before Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh in a Suit No. HEK/25c/24 on a six count charge of armed robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy and receipt of stolen property.

The two others, David Williams and Monday Ozomo were discharged for lack of evidence linking them to the armed robbery and kidnapping.

In a 91-page judgement, Justice Irele-Ifijeh said that the confessional statements of Solomon Abuede, James Monday and Kelvin Edward that they participated in the armed robbery were tallied with the evidence of one Sandra, a prosecution witness who was in the same vehicle and kidnapped with the late Ephraim.

In the judgment, the judge said that the kidnappers rode on a motorcycle, armed with dangerous weapons, kidnapped their victims and asked Ephraim, the driver and Sandra to move to the back seat, and lower their heads, while Solomon took over the driver’s seat.

She said they drove to the bank thereafter; while two of the kidnappers stayed with their victims inside the car, the other went to the bank with the ATM card of Ephraim to withdraw money from his account.

From there, they were said to have driven to an uncompleted building where Solomon Abuede threw Ephraim into a well after giving him rat poison to swallow, while the girl was given the option of jumping into the well or eating the rat poison given to her.

Solomon who provided the rat poison later spared her life, but raped her after she pleaded that her life be spared.

James Monday who was said to have provided the gun used for the operation and Monday Ozomo took the Infinity Jeep and two other stolen vehicles to Kano where Oviasogie paid #420,000 for the Infinity Jeep out of the agreed #500,000.

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