From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State High Court, Port Harcourt, has convicted and sentenced three young men to 14 years imprisonment each, without option of fine, for kidnapping 83-year-old woman identified as Theresa Nwosu.
The convicts: Kelechi Nnaji, Bright Anele and Onyebuchi Nweke, as well as the fourth accused person, Confidence Ozuowu, were arrested and arraigned on three counts of kidnapping, conspiracy and possession of illegal firearms. The crime was committed on September 22, 2015, in Obite village, Okehi, in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.Trial judge, Justice Boma Diepiri, in his judgement, yesterday, found Nnaji, Anele and Nweke, who were first, second and third defendants, guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy. But, the court discharged and acquitted the fourth defendant, Confidence Ozuowu.
Justice Diepiri ruled that the prosecution was able to prove the case of kidnapping and conspiracy against the convicts beyond reasonable doubt, following the confessional statements of the convicts, evidence and testimonies of the prosecution witness, including the victim.
Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, Chioma Chukwu and Stanley Amadi-Igwe, who were counsels for the defendants, though commended the judge for the verdict, said they might head to the Court of Appeal to seek redress of the judgement.