A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has 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.
The 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 which held on Thursday.
Speaking to Channels Television, counsel to Goodnews Nwoka (fourth suspect), Augustine Ojekudo, said of his client, “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 whom he handed over to the police but somehow, he was arrested.”
Speaking further the senior lawyer said, “This has convinced me that the courts are indeed the last hope of the common man and are indeed capable of dispensing justice.”
In June 2017, late Chief Ogbobula was kidnapped in Ahoada and taken by his abductors to Manikin Bush in Degema LGA where he was held hostage and died eventually in 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 in a four-count charge of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping, conspiracy to murder and murder the Late Chief Abbot Ogbobula.
In respect of count one (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 ((kidnapping of Late Chief Abbot Ogbobula), the 1st, 2nd and 4th Defendants were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.
In respect of count three (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.
In respect of 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.