By Chioma Onuegbu
Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene, has sentenced one Ekerete Michael Ukpong to death for kidnapping a 4-year-old boy, Success Amos Kalu, who has not been found till today.
The convict Ukpong (31), a native of Udok Atai in Ikono Local Government Area of the state was condemned to death on Thursday after he was guilty of kidnapping, an offence punishable by death, under section1 (2) of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.
The trial Judge in the matter was Justice Augustine Odokwo.
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.
Odokwo lamented the prevalence of kidnapping in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large, demands that all hands must be on deck to rid society of the menace, which he said “has assumed a hydra-headed dimension.”
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 judgement 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 offense 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.”
Before the sentence, the convict wept uncontrollably in the Courtroom, before he was whisked away by officials of the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ikot Ekpene.
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