Judge Escapes Assassination After Sentencing 4 Kidnappers to Death

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An Uyo high court Judge, Justice Okon Okon, on Tuesday narrowly escaped assassination attempt by a battalion of kidnappers from Rivers State.

The dreaded kidnappers stormed the high court premises on Tuesday morning, raining threats on justice Okon over the death sentence on their colleagues the previous day.

The kidnap attempt came less than 24 hours after the previous day’s condemnation of four kidnappers to death.

The condemned kidnappers, Bernard Efe Ajomaya, Christian Charles Naya, Daniel West and Shedrach Dick Dala had immediately after the sentence demonstrated signs of resistance and rebellion right in the courtroom.

Immediately after the Presiding Judge pronounced the death sentence, the condemned criminals who went berserk, destroying the window of the court-room, causing pandemonium in Ikot Ekpene Road, where the court is located, rained abuses on the judge  and also threatened to kill Akwa Ibom State Government Prosecution team.

The situation worsened with other courts, litigants and lawyers running helter-skelter for dear life. For about an hour, the kidnappers refused to leave the Courtroom throwing the scene into pandemonium.

It took the intervention of the detachment of soldiers and Police to rein the criminals in, taking them into a waiting prison van.

It could be recalled that the condemned kidnappers had on 19th May, 2015, kidnapped a medical expert in Uyo, Dr. Usen Bassey from his Ini Abasi Clinic, where they demanded a N10million ransom.

They were said to have been arrested on their way back to Rivers State in Ogoni with part of the ransom, international passport and financial documents belonging to the medical doctor.

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There seems to have been a renewed efforts and zeal in the direction of bringing the full wrath of the law on criminals and those who perpetrated the violence act of kidnapping in Akwa Ibom State during the immediate past administration.

After two years of legal tussle, the High Court sitting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, has handed down death sentence on four Policemen, who fired and killed a motorcyclist, along Goodluck Jonathan Boulevard in 2016.

The four convicted Policemen, who had since been dismissed from the force, last served as operational officers at the ‘C’ Division of the Akwa Ibom Police Command.

They include; Inspectors Moses Akpaete, Idoko Sampson as well as Corporals Enobong Udo and Godwin Nnanna.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Ifiok Ukana, found the officers guilty of conspiracy in the murder of one Felix Akpan of Ibiakpan in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of the State.

It was learnt the officers on patrol had fired on the late motorcyclist, who refused to stop for “settlement” for allegedly operating along areas marked as “prohibited” within the Uyo Capital City.

The Judge, who sentenced them to death, said the convicts deserve the verdicts “because there was evidence that the officers acted in self-defence as they were being attacked by the mob”.

He noted that “the decision of the officers to flee the scene after the incident meant they were in unison while committing the crime”.

“The law is very clear on the penalty which awaits any person who commits or conspires to commit such heinous crime, whether principal or accessory after the crime”, he added and prayed God to have mercy on their souls.

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The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, hailed the judgments as “victory for the rule of law” and warned those in the habits of indulging in crimes that the long arm of the law would catch up with them when at the right time.

Independent

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