Law News
Kidnapping: Native Doctor, Driver Jailed, Another To Die by Hanging For Robbery

A Delta High Court sitting at the Ughelli judicial Division has sentenced one David Tamarakpo Pade to death by hanging and two of his accomplices to a total of l9 years in jail with hard labour for armed robbery and for kidnapping of the wife of a retired judge of the Court of Appeal, Mrs Roll Awala.

The court found the three accused persons guilty on various counts while delivering its verdict amidst tight security that lasted several hours. The Court proceeding was, however, intermittently interrupted by several deafening sounds of explosives which were later discovered to be sounds of traditional cannon fired to herald the arrival of party leaders to a campaign rally held very close to the court premises.

The convicted kidnappers include a popular native doctor, Moses Omiovwovese, sentenced to two years in jail for accessory to the crime, as the kidnapped victim, 54 year-old Mrs. Roll Awala, was rescued from his shrine after a successful rescue operation by the police.

He was discharged and acquitted on the other four charges while 1st accused, 39-year-old Happy Opute, driver to the retired Court of Appeal jurist, Hon, justice A.P.A. Awala, was found guilty only on the count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and was slammed with a seven-year jail term with hard labour.

The 2nd accused person, David Tamarakpo Pade, was not that lucky as he was sentenced to death after being found guilty of four out of the five charges including that of armed robbery.

An assistant director from the Delta State Ministry of Justice had told the court that the three accused persons with two others now at large, on or about the 5th day of August, 2009 at lreden Crescent, GRA Warri, within the Warri Judicial Division, kidnapped one Mrs. Roli Awala and imprisoned her for six days before she was rescued.

He also told the court that they robbed the victim, her husband and daughter of their GSM handsets and a Honda salon car while armed with a gun. The kidnappers were said to have placed an initial ransom of N50 million but later reduced to N25 million before she would be released. This count, however, failed as the court discharge them of the count of demanding property with menace.

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