Driver Sentenced To Death By Hanging For Armed Robbery, Kidnapping

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Jethro Ibileke/Asaba

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A 43-year old commercial bus driver, Peter Onwusiribekan has been sentenced to death by hanging by an Effurun High Court, Delta state, for robbing a female nurse of her car.

The convict, said to be from Mbanor Local Government Area of Imo state, was found guilty of three count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, the substantive offence of armed robbery which is a capital offence and kidnapping.

He was therefore sentenced to death on count two while he got 2 years imprisonment for count one and 5 years
on count three respectively.

The court had earlier heard that the accused and two others now at large on or about the 5th day of December, 2011, kidnapped one female Nurse (Name withheld), of Ekpan General Hospital and held her for three days before she was released.

It could however not be ascertained if any ransom was paid before she regained freedom and dropped along the Orerokpe-Eku road where she was later found.

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Prosecution from the Delta State Ministry of Justice had told the court that the accused with his gang members now on the run also robbed the nurse of her Toyota Corolla Salon car while armed with guns.

The incidence happened within the Ekpan General Hospital, Ekpan, when the nurse was about driving out of the hospital premises having closed from duty.

Recounting her ordeal in the hands of her abductors, the nurse told the court in her evidence that: “I was about driving out of the premises when suddenly, the two men came from no where and pointed guns at me, pushed me to the back seat and drove off to an unknown destination.”

The accused was arrested in possession of the robbed car by a Special Anti-Robbery Squad during a routine stop and search operation along the Ughelli-Port Harcourt Highway, two days after the robbery operation.

The court in its judgment, relied on Doctrine of Recent Possession‎ which states that any person found in possession of any recent stolen property is presumed to be the thief except was able to give cogent and reasonable explanations, but added that in this circumstance, the accused was unable to give satisfactory explanations on how he came in possession of the robbed car.

“I do not have discretion in respect of count two (armed robbery) as the Law is certain. I hereby sentence you to death by hanging on the neck until you be dead. May God have mercy on your soul,” the court held.

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