Three to die by hanging in Edo for armed robbery

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Three people, Solomon Abuede, James Monday and Kelvin Edward, have been sentenced to death by hanging for armed robbery, kidnapping and murder in Edo State.

The sentence was handed over to the trio at the High Court in Benin by Hon. Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh for the kidnap and murder of one Ephraim Akhere in Ihumudumun Quarters, Ekpoma, the headquarters of Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State, on June 13, 2014.

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

The offences are punishable under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Prohibition Amendment Law of Edo State 2013 and the Armed Robbery and Fire Arms Act.

They were among the six persons arraigned before Justice R. Irele-Ifijeh in suit number: HEK/25c/24 on six counts of armed robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy and receipt of stolen property.

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

In a 91-page judgement made available to journalists on Wednesday, Justice Irele-Ifijeh said that the confessional statements of Abuede, Monday and Edward that they participated in the armed robbery were corroborated by the evidence of one Sandra, a prosecution witness, who was in the same vehicle and kidnapped with the late Akhere.

Giving the judgment, the judge said, “The kidnappers rode on a motorcycle, armed with dangerous weapons, kidnapped their victims and asked Akhere, the driver and Sandra to move to the back seat, and lower their heads, while Abuede took over the driver’s seat.

“They then drove to the bank, two of the kidnappers stayed with their victims inside the car, the other went to the bank with the ATM card of Akhere to withdraw money from his account.

“From there, they were said to have driven to an uncompleted building where 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 Sandra’s life, but raped her after she pleaded with him.

James Monday who was said to have provided the gun used for the operation and Monday Ozomo took the Infinity Jeep to Kano State where Oviasogie paid N420,000 for the vehicle out of the agreed N500,000.

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