A High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has handed down death sentences by hanging to three men convicted on charges of kidnapping.
The case involved the abduction of late Chief Abbot Ogbobula in June 2017.
Four suspects were originally arraigned for the crime, but only three—Boma Thompson, Emelike Mathias, and Daniel Thankgod—were convicted, while the fourth suspect, Goodnews Nwoka, was discharged and acquitted.
The trio faced four charges, including conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping, conspiracy to murder, and the murder of Chief Abbot Ogbobula. The presiding judge, Justice Monina Danagogo, delivered the verdict on Thursday.
Goodnews Nwoka’s counsel, Augustine Ojekudo, expressed his client’s relief, stating that Nwoka, who served as the CSO of the LGA, was wrongly entangled in the case. Ojekudo highlighted Nwoka’s role in arresting one of the defendants before his own arrest.
Late Chief Ogbobula was kidnapped in Ahoada in June 2017 and taken to Manikin Bush in Degema LGA, where he tragically lost his life in the hands of his abductors. The suspects were charged with conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping, conspiracy to murder, and murder.
For conspiracy to kidnap, the 1st, 2nd, and 4th defendants received seven years imprisonment with no option of fine. Regarding the kidnapping itself, they were sentenced to death by hanging. The conspiracy to murder charge resulted in a 14-year imprisonment for the same defendants, while the murder charge led to another death sentence by hanging or lethal injection.
The case underscores the court’s commitment to justice, with Nwoka’s acquittal reinforcing the belief in the legal system as the last hope for the common man.