The State High Court In Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital has sentenced three policemen and four others to death by hanging for kidnapping a woman.
Another woman, who was contracted to cook for the victim, Deaconess Ime Ekanem, while in the custody of the kidnappers, was also sentenced to death.
Justice Joy Unwana sentenced the defendants according to the anti-kidnapping law of the state.
A suit marked HU/13c/2012 was instituted against eight members of the gang in 2012. The defendants are Cpl Emmanuel Charlie, Ekaette Moses, Fidelis Jeremiah, Cpl Bassey Sunday (377812), PC Mfon Bassey (478463), Ndu Johnny, Unyime Etukakpan, and Itohowo Akpakwa.
They were convicted on a three-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony, kidnapping, and concealing, aiding and sponsoring kidnapping.
Justice Unwana said: “The decision of the court to pass the death sentence is in tandem with the anti-kidnapping law of Akwa Ibom State. It is a loud statement to the country that the crime of kidnapping is a grievous offence in the state and punishable by death. I hope it will discourage those planning to engage in the crime to steer clear off Akwa Ibom.”
Akpakwa confessed to visiting her friend in a bar at Idakeyop Aka, where she gave Etukakpan money to buy medicine for his ill-health. Although Akpakwa denied knowledge of the plot to kidnap her friend and neighbour, some members of the gang told the court that they did not know her name when she attended the final meeting at Aka.
They, however, insisted that she was the one who identified her friend and gave the direction to her house in Obio Etoi village, Uyo.