Akwa Ibom State High court, sitting in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of the state has on Thursday, November, 25, 2021 sentenced one Ekerete Ukpong to death for kidnapping a four year d boy.
The 31year old convict, a native of Udok Atai community, Ikono Local Government Area of the state was found guilty of kidnapping the four-year-old Success Amos Kalu, a native of Ohafia in Abia State, who was kidnapped 25th September, 2015, at Ibiakpan Akananwan, Ikot Ekpene.
The presiding judge, Justice Augustine Odokwo held that the prosecuting counsel has notified the court that the victim, 4-year-old, is yet to be found.
Justice Odokwo said the court found the convict guilty of kidnapping, punishable by death, under section one of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.
He said kidnapping is prevalent in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large, hence, all hands must be on deck to rid society of the menace, which he noted, “has assumed a hydra-headed dimension.”
The Court held that “the convict is taking the punishment alone although records show that he acted in consent with others, who are now at large. I have given due consideration to plea for mercy and forgiveness by the convict and his learned counsel.
“The judgement should send a clear signal to all and sundry that the full weight of the law will descend on kidnappers.
“I have gone through Section 1 (2) of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law 2009, the section that provides for punishment for the offense of kidnapping. That section of the law provides for only one punishment. I will in this circumstance, follow the law and the law only. The sentence of this Court against the convict is death.” Justice Odokwo pronounced.”
He added, “His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State will determine the means and place of the execution within the State.”
Before the sentence, Justice Odokwo had changed to a black cap while the convict wept uncontrollably in the Courtroom, before he was whisked away by officials of Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ikot Ekpene.