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Three sentenced to death by hanging for kidnapping a deaconess in Akwa Ibom

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Combatant soldiers deployed to Zamfara and other neighbourhood States have arrested 18 armed bandits and one of their sponsors, as military troops took over forests in the North West Zone.The Army and Air force, in continuation with operations designed to mitigate banditry activities in Zamfara and other contiguous States, troops of Operation Sharan Daji invaded the hideout of the armed bandits, believed to have been terrorisi

Three policemen and four others have been sentenced to death by hanging by an Akwa Ibom High Court for kidnapping a woman, Deaconess Ime Ekanem in 2012.

The criminals were dragged to court by the police after being apprehended while trying to collect a ransom of N1.8 million from the victim after the crime had been committed.

According to the court papers, the defendants are Cpl Emmanuel Charlie, Ekaette Moses, Fidelis Jeremiah, Cpl Bassey Sunday (377812), PC Mfon Bassey (478463), Ndu Johnny, Unyime Etukakpan, and Itohowo Akpakwa, worked closely with a friend of the victim to commit the crime. The friend gave the kidnappers the home address of her friend and her itinerary.

It was learnt that the victim was dragged out of the Toyota Sienna car driven by her husband, in front of the family house at about 6.30pm and whisked away in a Volvo Wagon car to Afaha Udoeyop in Ibesikpo Asutan council area, where she was kept, under armed guard, in an isolated building.

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The police was alerted and during the cause of investigations, the kidnappers contacted the family for a ransom of N20 million. After much persuasion, the ransom was brought down to N1.8 million which was to be paid in two installments.

However, when the ransom was to be paid, SCID officers, who were in mufti, were shocked to discover that the first two persons who approached the Afaha Ibesikpo Market square venue for the ransom delivery, were fellow SCID operatives. 

Deliverying judgement in the case, the presiding judge, Justice Joy Unwana said

“The decision of the court to pass the death sentence is in tandem with the anti-kidnapping law of Akwa Ibom State. It is a loud statement to the country that the crime of kidnapping is a grievous offence in the state and punishable by death. I hope it will discourage those planning to engage in the crime to steer clear off Akwa Ibom.”

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