A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Thursday sentenced a fulani leader, Alhaji Usman Adamu Ardo his brother, and one Gidado Idris to life imprisonment for conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping itself.
ROYAL NEWS reports that the convicts were accused of kidnapping Abubakar Ahmad and allegedly collected a ransom of N1 million before his eventual release after spending 20 days in captivity sometimes in 2022.
However, the Kwara State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Idowu Ayoola brought the three defendants before the court for alleged conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping itself.
In her judgment, Justice Adenike Akinpelu said that the trio were all in agreement to commit a crime, adding that whether they were physically present at the kidnapping scene was immaterial.
She said that the convicts “supposedly arrested their victim, claiming that he was a kidnapping suspect to extort money from him.
The judge added, ” I am not persuaded by the submissions of counsel to defendants counsel to dismiss the two-count charge against them based on the fact that they were not at the scene of the incident.”
Justice Akinpelu lamented that “it is saddening and disturbing that community leaders charged with the welfare of their subjects could, because of the love of money, breach the security of the same subjects. They are hereby found guilty as charged and are so convicted.”
After listening to the convicts allocutus plea, the judge said that, “by Section 15 of the Lead State Anti-Kidnapping Law, the court cannot exercise any discretion of leniency, so you are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. The sentence is to run concurrently.”
She ordered that a sum of N600,000 be paid to the victim of the abduction.