The Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, the state capital, sentenced Serikin Fulani of Kwara, Usman A Adamu, his brother, and one Gidaddo Idris to life imprisonment on Thursday for conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping itself.
The convicts were accused of kidnapping Abubakar Ahmad and allegedly collected a ransom of N1 million before his eventual release after spending 20 days.
The kidnapping incident happened in the middle of last year.
Kwara State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Idowu Ayoola, brought the defendants before the court for alleged conspiracy to kidnap and the act of kidnapping.
In her judgement, Justice Adenike Akinpelu said the trio were all in agreement to commit the crime, adding that whether they were physically present at the kidnapping scene was immaterial.
She added that the convicts supposedly arrested their victim, claiming that he was a kidnapping suspect and tried to extort money from him.
She said: “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.”
Continuing, Mrs Akinpelu lamented: “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 convict’s allocutus plea, the judge said: “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.