Awka — Two persons have been sentenced to death by hanging or firing squad by an Ihiala High Court Two over handset and handbag robbery in Eziama Uli, in Ihiala local government Area of Anambra state.
The suspects, Anene Maduka, Ikenna Obi and Osadebe Ezeh were accused of armed robbery.
Anene Maduka was however discharged and acquitted for lack of evidence, while the others were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging or firing squad.
According to the victim, Miss Chinonye Ogujiuba of Eziama Uli, the convicts, on February 2, 2009, robbed her of her Nokia phone valued at N15,500, cash sum of N10,000 and handbag valued at N2,500.
The identity of the first defendant Anene Mmaduka, was made an issue in the trial and the court agreed that he( Mmaduka) was not properly identified even though the victim gave evidence that he was waiting for the others on his commercial motorcycle while the robbery lasted.
In his submission, the defense counsel for the convicts , Calistus Ohanusi and Enright Okilie, had argued that the burden of proof on criminal matters rest on the prosecution whom he said did not prove that their clients robbed, or took part in robbing the victim, maintaining that there was no sufficient evidence to convict them.
The Prosecution Counsel, Charity Madukife, submitted that the burden of proof had been discharged by calling eye witnesses, adding that the Defence could not fault the evidence adduced.
Delivering the judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Okey Onunkwo, said there was no sufficient evidence against the first defendant.
"There were eye witness evidences against the convicted suspects as the victim had raised alarm after the robbery, leading to the arrest of the culprits at Umudimogo Ihiala and handed over to the police," he said.