March 25, 2016

Suspected kidnappers of GUO Motors’ boss get April 28 judgment date

Suspected kidnappers of GUO Motors’ boss  get April 28 judgment date

By Nwabueze Okonkwo

ONITSHA—Three accused persons standing trial before an Onitsha High court for allegedly kidnapping the Chairman of G. U. O. Motors Limited, Chief Godwin Ubaka Okeke on Sunday, August 23, 2009 at the premises of All Saints Anglican Church Cathedral, Onitsha, Anambra state will on Thursday, April 28, this year know their fate.

This followed the fixture of that date as a judgement day by the presiding Judge of Onitsha High court I, Justice Alexander Okuma, after adopting the written final addresses of the prosecution and defence counsel.

The state prosecution counsel, Chris Ajugwe and counsel to Kelechi Okafor, Anthony Ifeanyi Okafor and Alexander Onyinanya, Oliver Oduma Esq., Uchenna Nwafor Esq. and Jideofor Okongwu Esq. respectively had filed their written final addresses before the court on various dates which were adopted.

Ajugwe filed his on September 3, 2015, while Oduma, Nwafor and Okongwu filed theirs on August 6, 2015; August 11, 2015 and August 8, 2015 respectively.

In his submission, as contained in the final address, Ajugwe urged the court to convict the accused persons for their involvement in the kidnap saga, based on the evidences adduced by all the prosecution witnesses, including Okeke himself who identified the suspected kidnappers while in their captivity; his personal driver who identified them while handing over the ransom to them; the vigilante operatives who arrested the suspects and the police who investigated the case and took down the suspects’ statements.

Ajugwe also urged the court to discountenance the submissions of the defence counsel that their clients were innocent of the crimes of kidnapping and ransom-taking allegations leveled against them because the prosecution has proved every  charge against them beyond reasonable doubts.

Quoting the case of Patrick Njovens where the Supreme Court decided that “If the prosecution adduces sufficient and acceptable evidence to fix the defendants at the scene of crime at the material time, surely his alibi is logically and physically demolished,” Ajugwe contended in the final address that he has been able to prove his case against the accused persons beyond all reasonable doubts because Okeke who was kidnapped and who spent more than 24 hours at their captivity had in his evidence-in-chief as the first prosecution witness, PW1, identified Anthony Ifeanyi Okafor and the second accused person as the one who stabbed him while in their captivity.

The prosecution counsel said Okeke equally  identified the third accused person, Alexander Onyinanya as the one wearing mask during and after his kidnap as one of the vigilante operatives that worked at his house in his home town, Adazi-Ani.