A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced three men on charges of kidnapping and murder.
Although four suspects were arraigned in court for the kidnap of late Chief Abbot Ogbobula in June 2017, only three were convicted while the fourth suspect was discharged and acquitted.
The three men identified as Boma Thompson, Emelike Mathias, and Daniel Thankgod, were convicted on four charges of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping, conspiracy to murder, and murder of late Chief Abbot Ogbobula.
Justice Monina Danagogo presided over the case which was held on Thursday, January 18, 2024.
Speaking to Channels Television, counsel to Goodnews Nwoka (fourth suspect), Augustine Ojekudo, said of his client, “he is very very happy, he was only trying to help and that got him into trouble. He was the CSO of the LGA and even arrested the 1st defendant who he handed over to the police but somehow, he was arrested.”
Speaking further the senior lawyer said, “This has convinced me that the courts are indeed the last hope of the common man and are indeed capable of dispensing justice.”
In June 2017, the late Chief Ogbobula was kidnapped from his home in Ihuba village in Ahoada and taken by his abductors to Manikin Bush in Degema LGA where he was held hostage and died eventually in the hands of his abductors.
The gang demanded a ransom of N20 million from the family. The relatives first sent the sum of N200,000 to the kidnappers. The family later sent an additional N500,000 to the gang.
In a horrific twist of fate, a young member of the extended family, Udoma Njoku, (pictured) sent to deliver the money was abducted and beheaded by the gang.
The gang murdered the octogenarian and buried his body in a shallow grave in the bush where it was later exhumed in the course of a police investigation of the case.
Four persons were charged to court in a four-count charge of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping, conspiracy to murder and murder the Late Chief Abbot Ogbobula.
In respect of count one (conspiracy to kidnap), the 1st, 2nd and 4th Defendants were convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment with no option of fine.
In respect of count two ((the kidnapping of Late Chief Abbot Ogbobula), the 1st, 2nd and 4th Defendants were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.
In respect of count three (conspiracy to murder Late Chief Abbot Ogbobula) the 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants were convicted and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with no option of fine.
In respect of count four (murder of Chief Abbot Ogbobula), the 1st,2nd and 4th Defendants were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging or by lethal injection.