TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has sentenced to life imprisonment without option of fine, one Abel Okoro and Vincent Wilson, for kidnapping the wife of Senator George Thompson-Sekibo and two of her female friends.
Wife of the senator, Princess Asime Sekibo, and Evelyn Awinika-Osai, and their friend, were abducted on March 22, 2012, around Obiri Ikwerre axis of East West road on their way back from study at the University of Port Harcourt.
The convicts were arraigned before a High Court in Port Harcourt on September 21, 2012, on nine-count charges of felony, kidnapping, armed robbery and rape.
The two convicts and others now at large were reported to have collected the total sum of N10 million from the family of the victims around Mbiama in Ahoada West before the victims were released.
After the incident, three persons were initially arrested and prosecuted. But, one jumped bail, leaving Okoro and Wilson.
Delivering the judgement, the trial judge, Justice E. Thompson, agreed with the position of the prosecution counsel that the confessional statements by the defendants, which revealed how they conspired to commit the crime, were made voluntarily and not by any form of inducement.
Justice Thompson ruled that the court found the accused persons guilty of counts three and four, which bordered on conspiracy, attempted kidnap and kidnapped of Sekibo and Awinika-Osai. She, thereafter, sentenced the two to life imprisonment without an option of fine.