By Rotimi Ojomoyela
A 57-year-old Assistant Commissioner of Police, Okubo Aboye, and his mechanic, Niyi Afolabi, 39, were yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment by an Ado-Ekiti High for receiving a stolen vehicle from kidnappers.
The court also sentenced seven other persons— Solomon Ayodele Obamoyegun 39, Femi Omiawe 40, Damilola Obamoyegun 20, Bose Sade Ajayi 30, George Lucky 35, Chukwuma Nnamani 22, and Sunday Ogunleye 45 to five years imprisonment each without an option of fine for kidnapping.
The investigating police officers told the court that the stolen car was tracked to the compound of ACP Akubo Aboye, who on interrogation confessed that he bought the Hilux van from his mechanic, who received it from the kidnappers.
Their offence, according to the charge sheet, runs contrary to sections 346(2), 1(2)a, and section 5 of the Criminal Code Cap C16 Laws of Ekiti State, 2012 and Robbery and firearms special provisions Act, Cap R11, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The Presiding Judge, Justice John Adeyeye, found the two accused persons guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment accordingly.
To prove the kidnapping case, the prosecutor, Felix Awoniyi, called seven witnesses while exhibit tendered included statements of the accused persons and bond to release van to the owner.
According to the charge, the offence was committed on or about May 9 -19, 2005 at GRA, Ado Ekiti, when the 1st -7th accused armed with guns kidnapped one Moses Ajogri, 40, and robbed him of his Toyota Hilux van with number plate: APP 509 BK.
The nine accused persons spoke in their defence through their counsel, who promised to study the verdict and take the necessary step.
Delivering the judgment, Justice John Adeyeye said, “ Kidnapping people for ransom is very rampant in not only the state but in Nigeria as a whole.
“ The court will be failing in its duty to protect the members of the society if adequate punishment is not given to the accused persons.”