An Asaba High Court has sentenced a 27-year-old drycleaner, Abubarkar Bello, to 13 years imprisonment with hard labour for kidnapping a medical doctor, Hyginus Opara.
Bello was also tried for conspiracy, stealing and unlawful imprisonment.
Delivering judgment, Justice Mabel Omovie said that the prosecution had proved its case beyond all reasonable doubts.
Omovie said, “I have considered the submissions of both sides in the case and I am convinced that the accused and others (suspects) now at large were guilty of the offences brought against him.
“I, therefore, sentence the accused to 13 years imprisonment with hard labour on the four counts brought against him.’’
The Prosecutor, Mr. R. N. Emekpe, had told the court that the convict and two others (suspects) now at large kidnapped and imprisoned Opara on May 17, 2012 against his will.
Emekpe told the court that the convict and the others kidnapped the doctor, a staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, on Okpanam Road, Asaba.
He also told the court that the convict and the others conspired among themselves to steal N3m from their victim which was paid as a ransom for his release.
The counsel had equally told the court that they stole the victim’s Automated Teller Machine card and wedding ring.
He said that the offences were punishable under sections 364, 390 and 406 of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol. 1 Laws of Delta State, 2006.
The convict, who earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges, later admitted that he was guilty of the offences.
Counsel to the convict, Miss E. Oregbunam, had pleaded for leniency, saying that the he was a first time offender.