Asaba — A 27 year-old trader, Obiora Igboanugo was yesterday sentenced to 27 years imprisonment by an Asaba high court for kidnapping an Asaba-based medical doctor, Dr. Walter Onubogu sometime in June 2010 as well as demanding for N50 million as ransom for his release, having been found guilty on a five-count charge preferred against him.
However, one Ikechukwu Udekwe who was arraigned along with him was discharged and acquitted for want of evidence.
Prosecution had in the 5-count charge stated that "Obiora Igboanugo and Ikechukwu Udekwe on or about the 10th day of June, 2010 at Akwuebulu layout, Asaba, within the Asaba judicial division kidnapped one Dr. Walter Onubogu and imprisoned him against his will and demanded for the sum of N50 million from one Mrs. Ifeoma Onubogu with menaces".
Prosecution called four witnesses to prove its case including the wife of the doctor Mrs. Ifeoma Onubogu, who paid out N3 million ransom.
The abducted medical doctor, according to prosecution was shot by the kidnappers in the thigh.
The presiding Judge, Justice K.O. Okpu stated that "in the final analysis, I hold that prosecution was able to prove count 1,2,3,4 and 5 against the 1st accused person beyond reasonable doubt. I hereby convict him accordingly".
The sentence: 7 years imprisonment for count 1, which is conspiracy to commit kidnapping, 7 years for kidnapping, 3 years for attempted murder 7 years for stealing and 3 years for demanding with menaces. The sentences are to run concurrently while the 2nd accused (Ikechukwu Udekwe) was discharged and acquitted.