The High Court 7 sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital on Thursday sentenced three persons to death by hanging for kidnapping a four-year-old boy.
The three condemned men, Victor Etim Bassey, 24, Aniediong Ezekiel Thompson, 35, from Ikot Inyang Idung and Ifa Ikot Akpan respectively in Uyo local government area as well as Chike Okeke, a native of Eziaja in Anaocha local government area in Anambra State and a graduate of Accounting were said to have kidnapped their victim on 8, November 2016 in his village at Ikot Inyang Idung, Uyo.
Delivering his judgement, the presiding Judge, Justice Okon Okon said he found the accused guilty of kidnapping adding that the crime is punishable by death in section 1(2) of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.
Justice Okon held that the 1st accused, Victor Etim Bassey took away the child to the second accused, Aniediong Ezekiel Thompson for monetary consideration, which they shared among themselves.
The Court said while Victor sold the four-year-old to Aniediong at N200,000, Aniediong in turn, resold him to Chika at N450,000 who also sold to ‘one sister’ at N550,000, now at large.
Justice Okon said, “with the information of the third convict, the child was recovered by the Police in Nnewi and reunited with his family in Akwa Ibom”.
Recounting how his son was kidnapped, the mother of the four-year-old boy told the court that she left her son in the custody of his sibling on November 18, 2016, while she went to market.
She said the first convict (Victor), gave the child’s elder brother N50 to buy sweets for him, only for him to return home to see that both his brother and the convict were not there.
While sentencing the three accused to death by hanging, Justice Okon prayed God to have mercy on their souls.