A Delta State High Court sitting in Effurun, has sentenced three persons, Augustin Akpojivi, Dawel James and Collins Enye, to death by hanging for kidnapping. The Court which also found the three accused persons guilty of three other counts of conspiracy to commit a felony to wit: kidnapping, illegal possession of firearms, demanding property with menace and stealing, sentenced them to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour. Two other accused persons were however lucky as they escaped the death sentence, having been discharged and acquitted by the Court. The two acquitted persons are Samuel Okoloda and Precious Victor Ochuko. They were acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence linking them to the crime by prosecution.
Earlier during trial, the Prosecution told the Court that Dawel James, a driver by occupation, conspired with Augustin Akpojivi (29), also a driver, and Collins Enye (23), a commercial motorcycle rider; and others now at large, to kidnap his employer, one Rufus Uzoma Allwell, staff of Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), while armed with guns and demanded for a ransom of N2million before releasing their victim.
The Court heard that Dawel James who was the driver to the kidnapped victim master minded the kidnap of his boss and received part of the N2million ransom paid by the elder brother of his boss.
Reacting to the Court Judgement, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr Peter Mrakpor hails the Court verdict and expressed optimism that the judgement of the Court will send a strong signal to criminally minded persons in the State that it was not business as usual.
He commended the exceptional courage displayed by witnesses in the matter who came out willingly without pressure to give evidence in Court during trial and called on others to emulate the patriotic spirit put forward by the Prosecution Witnesses.