June 3, 2023

Court sentences three Akwa Ibom women to death for child kidnapping

Visa: Travel agent in court for allegedly duping woman N2.9m

By Chioma Onuegbu Uyo

Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo presided over by Justice Gabriel Ette has sentenced three women from the state to death for kidnapping three children and selling them off in Aba, Abia State

The trial Judge, on Friday, found the trio guilty of conspiracy and kidnapping punishable by death under Section 1 of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.

Nemesis caught up with Enobong Nsikak Sunday, a 38-year-old mother of two from Atiamkpat in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, when she kidnapped a two-year girl she met at a vigil in Ifa Atai, Uyo, “looking poor and hungry.”

Enobong had in her confessional statement said she had trailed the mother and child to their house in Ifa Atai and deceived her that she wants to take the child to a hospital for treatment.

According to her, on the way, she stopped and gave the mother of the child N5,000 to buy foodstuffs at a nearby Transformer Junction Market on Abak Road, Uyo, but the child’s mother refused.

She further confessed that after her first failed attempt, she went back to the woman’s house in Ifa Atai, where she successfully kidnapped the poor child.

The second convict, a 48-year-old native of Ikot Eyo in the same Nsit Ubium LGA, Gertrude Thompson Akpan said she made a profit of N500,000 per child she kidnaps, and N200,000 for those brought to her for sale.

However, the last business which landed her in prison was two children, aged two years and 10 months, she confessed to had kidnapped on 16th December 2018 at Abak Road, Uyo, after deceiving their mother that the wife of the immediate past Governor Dr. (Mrs) Martha Udom Emmanuel was empowering the poor and that she will take her to the First Lady for help.

Similarly, Mary Okon James, (49) and a native of Obotim in Nsit Ibom LGA, confessed that she bought one of the children (victim’s) at the sum of N200,000 and sold the child at the sum of N500,000 in neighbouring Aba, in Abia State.

Delivering a judgment, Justice Gabriel Ette said the confessional statements of the three women link each other and firmly established the fact that they constitute a sophisticated syndicate for their infamous trade.

He held: “For a woman to have gone to that extent, it means she has sealed her conscience with a hot iron and thereby become a threat to civilized society as every child is her potential victim.

“You have, by your conduct, disqualified yourself from continuing to walk free in organised society as every child is your potential victim. Mary Okon Bassey, a native of Obotim village in Nsit Ibom Local Government, it is your claim that you joined the trade of kidnapping and selling other people’s children in January 2017.

“You also claimed to have sold two female children in Aba before nemesis caught up with you. This, you did with no human empathy and not minding what fate awaits your innocent victims and what arrow you have caused to pierce the hearts of their hapless parents.

“You did this so you may live big and comfortable. How did you feel when you took two children from the same mother in your journey to selling them off for filthy lucre? You had caused your innocent victims sleepless nights, though providence smiled on her for her children to be recovered.

” You are a pest to society and not fit to walk the earth like a free woman again ever. You, in your lifetime chose to walk the pathway of crime and today, you will reap your reward.

“Those who murder sleep, do not deserve to dream. I find you guilty and the sentence of this Court on you is that you be hanged on your neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul”.