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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 25 November 2021


Court sentences man to death for kidnapping 4-year-old boy

Court file photo Court file photo

31-year-old man, Ekerete Michael Ukpong has been sentenced by Justice Augustine Odokwo of a high court sitting in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state on November 25, 2021, for kidnapping a 4-year-old boy, Success Amos Kalu.

The kidnapped boy has still not been found at the time of filing this report.

The convict Ukpong, a native of Udok Atai in the Ikono Local Government Area of the state, was condemned to death after he was found guilty of kidnapping, an offence punishable by death, under section1 (2) of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.

Justice Odokwo held that the prosecution has notified the court that the victim, 4-year-old Success Amos Kalu, a native of Ohafia in Abia State, who was kidnapped on September 25, 2015, at Ibiakpan Akananwan in Ikot Ekpene LGA, has not been found.

The trial judge also held that “the convict is taking the punishment alone although records show that he acted in consent with others, who are now at large. This judgment should send a clear signal to all and sundry that the full weight of the law will descend on kidnappers.

“I have gone through Section 1 (2) of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law 2009, the section that provides for punishment for the offence of kidnapping. That section of the law provides for only one punishment. I will in this circumstance, follow the law and the law only. The sentence of this Court against the convict is death. His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State will determine the means and place of the execution within the State,” he said.

Before the sentence, the convict wept profusely in the courtroom before he was whisked away by officials of the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ikot Ekpene.