From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
An Ekiti State high court sitting in Ado-Ekiti on Monday jailed a 57-year-old, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Okubo Aboye, and his mechanic Niyi Ibrahim Afolabi, aged 39.
The two convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment for receiving a stolen vehicle from kidnap suspects.
The court also sentenced seven other persons, Solomon Ayodele Obamoyegun, 39, Femi Omiawe, 40, Damilola Obamoyegun, 20, Bose Sade Ajayi, 30, George Lucky, 35, Chukwuma Nnamani, 22, and Sunday Ogunleye, 45; to 5 years imprisonment each without an option of fine for kidnapping.
The investigating police officers said the stolen car was tracked to the compound of ACP Aboye who, on interrogation, confessed that he bought the Hilux van from his mechanic who received it from the kidnappers.
The offence contravenes sections 346(2), 1(2)a, and section 5 of the Criminal Code Cap C16 Laws of Ekiti State, 2012 and Robbery and firearms special provisions Act, Cap R11, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.
In his judgement, Justice John Adeyeye found the two accused persons guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment accordingly.
To prove the kidnapping case, the prosecutor, Felix Awoniyi called seven witnesses while exhibit tendered include statements of the accused persons and bond to release van to the owner.
The charge indicated that the offence was committed between 9th and 19th of May 2005 at GRA, Ado-Ekiti, when the 1st to 7th accused, armed with guns to kidnap one Moses Ajogri, 40, and robbed him of his Toyota Hilux van with Reg No APP 509 BK.
The nine accused persons spoke in their own defence through their counsels who promised to study the verdict and take the necessary step.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Adeyeye said: ‘Kidnapping people for ransom is very rampant in not only the state but in Nigeria as a whole.
‘The court will be failing in its duty to protect the members of the society if adequate punishment is not given to the accused persons.’