Five persons who schemed the kidnapping and murdering of a Shell staff, named Anthony Okoro, have yesterday been sentenced to death by hanging by the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
The five defendants out of seven persons in suit number PHC/324/2017, are Oluchi Charles (1st defendant), Miracle Anumuna (2nd defendant), Ifeanyi Simon (3rd defendant), Koko Basset (4th defendant) and Uchenna Stanley Amaechi (7th defendant).
They were charged with 10 counts, by the Inspector General of Police bordering on conspiracy, stealing, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder, and were convicted of all 10.
The court however discharged and acquitted Chukwudi Etete (5th defendant) and Anthony Ugwu (6th defendant).
On May 29, 2016, the suspects had attacked the home of one Anthony Okoro, a staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company, in Woji area of Port Harcourt.
They were said to have killed the victim and made away with his Range Rover SUV.
The deceased’s Kia Optima car, television sets, infinix phone and other valuables were also taken away by the suspects.
While delivering his judgement yesterday, Justice George Omereji, said the prosecution proved its case that the first to fourth and seventh defendants were as guilty as charged.
Omereji, in discharging and acquitting the fifth and sixth defendants, stated that the prosecution could not prove that they had knowledge of the crime, rather they unknowingly bought phones belonging to the victim.
The judge also said that the prosecution proved the case was that of conspiracy against the convicts.
“It was proven that the convicts had met at Genesis area of Woji in Port Harcourt and planned the kidnap of Okoro and the death of the victim was caused by the convicts,” the judge said.
Omereji, who based his ruling on Section 410 of the Administration of Criminal Justice 2011, sentenced all five convicts to death by hanging and added that they must be confirmed dead before been released from the rope.
The prosecution counsel, I. Ubulom, described it as justice done. He said the verdict would serve as deterrent to others involved in criminal activities.