Court jails Ozekhome’s kidnappers 20 years each


The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, sentenced the kidnappers of Professor Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Professor Hope Eghagha, to 20 years imprisonment.

Judge Justice Binta Nyako, in a judgement on criminal charges against the convicts, sentenced Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe and Frank Azuekor to 20 years’ imprisonment for kidnapping and terrorism.

The judge, however, discharged Micheal Omonigho, a priest of a shrine, who was arraigned along with the convicts.

According to the judge, some of the 13-count charges for which the convicts were arraigned carry life imprisonment, but she used her discretion to sentence them to 20 years, commencing from the date of their arrest.

Justice Nyako ordered the transfer of the convicts from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) to the Nigerian prison to serve their imprisonment.


Before the sentencing, the convicts prayed Justice Nyako for mercy, stating that they had never been convicted of any offense before.

The first convict, Kelvin Eziegbe, specifically pleaded for mercy due to his health challenges, which he had been battling for the past ten years while in DSS custody.

While the convicts’ counsel, Bala Dakum, joined them in pleading for mercy in the sentencing, the prosecution counsel, Chioma Onuegbu, reminded the court of the gravity of the offenses for which the convicts were convicted.

Charges against the convicts, who were docked in 2023, include conspiracy to commit terrorism acts, kidnapping, accessory to acts of terrorism, inciting persons to commit acts of terrorism, recruitment, escape, and abetting escape.

The duo of Eziegbe and Azuekor were accused in counts two and three of conspiring to commit terrorism acts of murder by shooting and killing five police officers and two prison officials; committing intentional murder by shooting and killing five police officers and two prison officials.

Azuekor was accused in count seven of escaping with others from lawful custody when the prison vehicle in which they were being conveyed to court was allegedly attacked by Eziegbe and others.

Michael Omonigho was accused in counts 12 and 13 of acting as the group’s herbalist by providing “spiritual and moral support” to it, and failing to report the group’s activities to security agencies.

The alleged offenses are said to be punishable under sections 1(2)(f), 8(1)(b), 10, 15(1), 17, and 19 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (as amended).

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