The Ikot Ekpene Division of the Akwa Ibom State High Court has sentenced a 31-year-old man, Ekerete Michael Ukpong to death by hanging for kidnapping a four-year-old boy, Success Amos Kalu, has not been found till today.
Ukpong, a native of Udok Atai in Ikono Local Government Area was sentenced on Thursday by Justice Augustine Odokwo who found him guilty of kidnapping, a crime punishable by death, under section (1) of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.
Justice Odokwo held that the prosecuting counsel 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, Ikot Ekpene, was still missing at the time of the ruling on the matter.
According to Justice Odokwo, kidnapping is prevalent in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state and Nigeria at large, and appealed for, all hands to be on the deck to rid the society of the menace, which he noted, “has assumed a hydra-headed dimension.”
The Court held that “the convict is taking the punishment alone although records show that he acted in consonantt with others, who are now at large.”
Justice Odokwo said, “the 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 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.” Justice Odokwo stressed,
The Court held that “His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State will determine the means and place of the execution within the State.”
Before the sentence, Justice Odokwo had changed to a black cap, with the convict weeping uncontrollably in the Courtroom before he was whisked away by officials of the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ikot Ekpene.
KanyiDaily had also reported how Ekiti State High Court sentenced a self-confessed member of the Boko Haram, Abdulsalam Adinoyi, to death by hanging for killing a police sergeant, Gana Jiya, at a checkpoint in Oye Ekiti.