Asaba — Killers of the 75-year-old uncle of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Diokpa Felix Boise, were thursday sentenced to death by hanging.
A Delta State High Court sitting at Issele-Uku found the accused guilty of brutally murdering the minister's septuagenarian relative in his farm on June 9, 2014 at Onicha-Ugbo, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
The court sentenced the three defendants, Sunday Luka, a 32-year old driver, Danjuma Kaika, aged 37 and 33-year-old Luka Agu, who all claimed to be from Nassarawa State, to death after a guilty verdict was pronounced on.
The court heard that the three condemned men carted away their victim's Kia Rio saloon car.
The three defendants, who once worked as farm labourers for the deceased, were charged to court on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit murder, under section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap C21, Volume 1 Laws of Delta State, 2006, murder under section 319(1), conspiracy to commit armed robbery contrary to Section 6(b) and punishable under Section 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap. R11, Volume 14, Laws of the Federation, 2004 and the substantive offence of murder under Section 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms Act.
The trial judge, Justice C.I. Ogisi, while delivering the death verdict, said the punishment for the offence the accused committed was mandatory and he does not have the discretionary power to mitigate the death sentence.
The judge, who sentenced the 1st and 2nd accused persons on all four count charge, however discharged the 3rd accused person on count 2 and 4 but was sentenced on count 1 and 3.
Justice Ogisi while delivering the verdict, held that the court agreed with the submission of prosecution counsel, Pollen-Ezeana-Ejiofor Es, that urged the court to accordingly convict the defendants, prosecution having proved its case against the defendants beyond all reasonable doubt.
"I am persuaded that the 3rd accused person conspired with the 1st and 2nd but I am also persuaded that the 3rd accused person did not take part in the murder of Felix Boise on the 9th of June, 2014," the trial judge said.
The prosecution counsel from the Delta State Ministry of Justice, Pellen-Joseph Ejaifo, through prosecuting witnesses, had told the court "that on June 9, 2014, one Pa Felix Biose 'was brutally murdered while in his farm situated along Onicha-Ugbo Issele-Uku Road by unknown persons, which investigations later revealed to be the three accused persons. He was attacked by woods and other offensive weapons while his lifeless body was thrown into a deep dry well.
The court was further told that two of the defendants who participated actively in the crime, used logs of woods and cement blocks to hack their victim to death.