A 30-YEAR-OLD Mason, Emeka Chukwuji has been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment by an Asaba High Court in Delta State having been found guilty of unlawfully kidnapping one Sunday Akpan for refusing to allow him (convict) and his collaborators to re-sell a parcel of land belonging to his (Akpan) boss.
Prosecution told the court that following the refusal of Akpan to co-operate with the convict’s master now at large to resell a parcel of land located at Asaba valued at N400,000 as at 2004 to another buyer which he earlier sold to Akpan’s boss, one Joseph Okpaka, the convict inflicted machet cuts on him and kidnapped him thereafter.
The court was told that despite the promise of a car to Akpan as compensation to induce him to co-operate, the offer was turned down.
He was arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping under section 324, 320, 516 and 364 Criminal Code respectively.
“Emeka Chukwuji, male”, according to prosecution, “on or about the 9th day of July 2007, at Asaba within Asaba judicial division, kidnapped one Sunday Akpan, male and unlawfully imprisoned him in a Jeep car with registration number AP 167 ASP without his consent”. The State fielded five witnesses to prove its case.
Justice C.O. Ogisi of High Court 5 Asaba in delivering judgment yesterday convicted the accused on the 4 counts and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in counts 1, 2 and 3 and 7 years imprisonment in court 4. The sentences are however to run concurrently and start to count from 24th June 2008 the accused was remanded in custody.