BY AUSTIN OGWUDA
ASABA — THERE was com-motion at an Asaba High Court, yesterday, as two robbery suspects took everybody unawares and escaped from the court room immediately the judge sentenced them to death by hanging, having found them guilty on two-count charges of armed robbery.
The two suspects who were in the dock without handcuffs jumped out, and became violent, used a wooden barricade used to block traffic leading to the court to hit prison officials chasing them.
The convicts were one Elvis Agbofodo and Frank Okedema both from Ekpan community, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state.
Prosecution had told the court that they robbed the residence of one Mrs. Mercy Omatseye of valuables and cash on July 8, 2010.
Both of them were, however, re-arrested with the assistance of the residents of the area. One of the them was shot by armed prisons official who pursued him to a nearby church premises, about 100 metres from the court.
As a result of the incident which took place at about 11.30 am, further proceedings in the court were disrupted as the judge, court officials and lawyers scampered for safety as gun shots rented the air.
New Controller of Prisons in the state, Mr. Joseph Olanrele, had during a recent courtesy visit to the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Charles Ajuyah (SAN) expressed worry over the large number of condemned criminals in various prison formations across the state, noting that it was worrisome as they (condemned criminals) constantly create problems for prison officials looking after them while awaiting the hangman.
Ajuyah, on his part condemned the use of phones by some inmates even while in the court, saying such act is capable of undermining security of officials and inmates.