The Ikeja High Court sitting in Lagos State has sentenced two former gang members of billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, a.k.a Evans to 41 years in prison.
The court presided over by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo sentenced the convicts, Kelvin Emenike Ukoh, 32, and Emeka Obasi, 33 over the abduction of one Ugoje Jude, a shipping agent, and his employee, Miss Piriye Gogo, on August 3, 2012.
The convicts were arraigned in 2013 alongside three others: Uche Igbani, 28, Chibuzor Osuagwu, 33 and a 36-year-old woman, Onowu Ngozi, on a 14 count-charge bothering on conspiracy, kidnapping, armed robbery and murder.
The gang had kidnapped Ugoje and Gogo who were taken to an unknown destination by their leader, Evans.
While stating the fact of the case before sentence, the prosecution team, lead by Mrs. K.O. Sarumi, told the court that the convict and other defendants committed the crime in August, 2012 at about 8:00p.m. in Festac Town, Lagos.
Narrating her ordeal before the court, Gogo said the three men accosted them with rifles on their way home and that she was almost raped inside the car, but was saved by her monthly menstrual period.
While being led in evidence before the court, Gogo disclosed that during the abduction, one of the kidnappers, Obasi, came into the car, after dragging her boss out for negotiation at an undisclosed location, and started fondling with her breast.
Gogo said: “He came into the car, tore my clothes, pulled down a side of my bra and began caressing my breast.
He thereafter started dragging down my shirt and I began begging him. I begged him until I had nothing else I could plead with.
I begged him intensely for mercy and even told him that I was menstruating.
It was as though all my pleas fail on deaf ears, I had to insert my hand into my vagina just to show him.
The blood I showed him prevented him from raping me. It was a terrible experience.
“He, thereafter, asked whether Jude was the owner of the company. And I replied that we were just clearing agents.
They also seized our mobile phones, jewellery and money.
They blindfolded Jude, brought him back into the car, asked me to face down with my eyes closed, and then drove off to another location.
They spoke Igbo almost all the time so I could barely understand what they were saying.”
Also testifying, Jude said his abductors initially ordered him to pay N10 million for his release but after negotiations, they collected N5 million.
After listening to them, the trial judge convicted and sentenced Ukoh and Obasi to five, 15 and 21 years for conspiracy, kidnapping and armed robbery respectively, while the other three were discharged and acquitted by court.
The judge held that the prosecution could not prove that those acquitted Igbani, Osuagwu and Ngozi were linked to the alleged charges of murder, conspiracy, kidnapping and armed robbery. (The Guardian)