Abuja Court Sentences SAN Kidnappers To 20 Years Imprisonment

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, sentenced two of the four defendants alleged to have kidnapped Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, to 20-year-jail terms each.

In the judgment, Justice Binta Nyako, held that the prosecution had been able to establish the counts preferred against Kelvin Ezeigbe and Frank Azuekor, who were 1st and 2nd defendants, beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Nyako held that the sentence would start counting from the day of their arrest.

However, Nyako discharged and acquitted Michael Omonigho and Momoh Haruna, who were 3rd and 4th defendants, of the counts leveled against them in the terrorism charge.

She held that though some of the counts against Ezeigbe and Azuekor attracted punishment ranging from death sentence, life imprisonment to at least 10 years jail term, she said she had found that the accused had been remorseful of their criminal act.

She said she also found that they had been in custody for about 10 years from the day of their arrest.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that while Omonigho, who was said to be the chief priest, was in court, Haruna was not.

When Nyako warned Omonigho to be careful as people worship in his shrine in the open court, the chief priest responded thus: “I have repented my lord.”

The judge, however, directed that Haruna, who was at large, should be brought to court to face the sin of his escape from lawful custody, even though he was discharged of the counts against him.

NAN reports that the defendants; Kelvin Ezeigbe, Frank Azuekor, Michael Omonigho, and Momoh Haruna were first arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a FHC, on June 9, 2014, on a 13-count charge bordering on conspiracy, armed robbery, kidnapping and acts of terrorism.

While the three defendants were in court, Haruna was said to be missing after the attack on Kuje Correctional Centre by terrorists on July 5, 2022.



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