Court remands 2 herdsmen for alleged kidnap of Chinese nationals

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Lokoja –  A Lokoja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday remanded two herdsmen, Abubakar Mohammed and Garba Mati in prison over alleged kidnap of two Chinese nationals from Obajana in Kogi.

They were arraigned on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and Kidnapping.

The offence contrived Sections 97(1) of the Penal Code and Section 3(a) and 7(a) of Kogi State Kidnapping, Thuggery and Other Related Offences (Prohibition) Law, 2010, respectively.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Levi Animoku, in his ruling, order their remand holding that kidnapping was a serious offence in the state.

Animoku said kidnap cases were too rampant and must be handled with caution, adding that presumption of innocence was not absolute as in this case.

He, therefore, ordered that the accused be remanded at Federal Prisons, Koton-Karfe and adjourned case till July 31, for further mention.

Prosecutor Mohammed Abaji, a Senior Legal Officer with the state Ministry of Justice, urged the court to take cognisance of the offences.

According to him, the accused persons in the company of two others now at large committed the offence on June 12 at Obajana in Lokoja Local Government.

Abaji said that the accused took the two Chinese nationals, Shen Fahung and Shan Hongui into the bush in Obajana, demanded and collected an undisclosed amount as ransom before releasing them.

He said that investigation led to the arrest of the duo who confessed that they got N100,000 each from the ransom.

The Counsel to the accused, Mr Mua’zu Abbas, in oral application, had urged the court to admit his clients to bail.

But Abaji opposed the bail on the ground that the offences carried  life imprisonment if they were convicted.

He urged the court to refuse the application, saying that having known the weight of the offence and its punishment upon conviction, the accused would certainly jump bail.

He argued the accused persons had no traceable address being herdsmen. (NAN)

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