July 22, 2024

Court jails four kidnappers of Ex-Bayelsa commissioner 40 years

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*Court jails four kidnappers of Ex-Bayelsa commissioner 40 years

*Mr Federal Otokito, Former Commissioner for Trade and Investment In Bayelsa State

Nathan Tamarapreye, Bayelsa

A Bayelsan State High Court sitting in Ogbia Local Government Area has sentenced four men who kidnapped the former Commissioner for Trade and Investment in Bayelsa State, Mr Federal Otokito, and demanded a ransom in 2022.

The court, hereafter, sentenced each of the four convicts to 40 years in prison.

Kidnapping attracts a maximum penalty of death sentence in the state’s anti-kidnapping laws.

The court, presided over by Justice S.W.Amaduobogha, while delivering judgement in suit numbered OHC/4c/2022, declared that Kingsley Obhesi, 24, Joshua Abi, 32, Gift Damene, 38 and Powell Inegite, 36 years are guilty as charged on conspiracy, kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.

The convicted persons were arrested by operatives of the Operation Puff Adder unit, Bayelsa State Police Command led by Supol Chris Nwaogbo and believed to be boys working with a prominent ex-militant leader from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.

The Police Prosecuting Counsel, Stella Jerry-Friday Esq, had earlier told the court that: “The convicts on the 20th day of January 2022 at the Otuokpoti in Ogbia Local Government area of Bayelsa and armed with sophisticated guns and offensive weapons, unlawfully took away one Federal Oparminola Otokito against his will to Igbomotoru bush in Southern Ijaw area of the State with the intent to demand ransom or any other unlawful consideration and thereby committed an offence.”

The judge, after hearing from the Police Prosecution counsel and the defence counsels declared that the investigative and prosecution team had done due diligence and proof beyond reasonable doubt of the case of conspiracy, kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms against the convicts.

Some members of the Otuokpoti community where the Former Commissioner hail from in Ogbia LGA commended the Bayelsa Police Command particularly the Operatives of Operation Puff Adder led by Supol Chris Nwaogbo for their diligent investigation and prosecution.

It would be recalled that the former Commissioner for Trade and Investment, was abducted from his residence in Otuokpoti, Ogbia LGA of the state.

The gunmen were reported to have invaded the neighbourhood, shooting randomly into the air to frighten the locals before whisking the former commissioner away.

*Mr Federal Otokito, Former Commissioner for Trade and Investment In Bayelsa State

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