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Judicial CP - March 2006

Corpun file 17493

The Tide, Port Harcourt, 3 March 2006

Man jailed 14 years for kidnap

A Lokoja high court has sentenced a 27-year-old man, Lucky Yunisa, to 14 years imprisonment for kidnapping a five-year-old child. Yunisa is also to receive six strokes of the cane for kidnapping Ikojo Ubolo, daughter of Kogi State Accountant-General.

Delivering judgment on the two-count charge, the Kogi State Chief Judge, Justice Umaru Eri, said following the submissions made by both the prosecution and defence counsel, the accused was found guilty of both charges.

Eri, who described the convict as intelligent "but a copious liar," said that Yunisa did not exhibit any remorse.

He said the mischief in the convict could not be quantified, as he struck him as "an evil in a decent society, when one considers the nature of the offence committed".

"Considering the trauma the young girl went through, as well as that of her family," the Judge said, "the convict deserves a punishment that will serve as a deterrent to others who may have the propensity to commit such crime."

Yunisa and another suspect, Amedu Yakubu, now deceased, were alleged to have on June 8, last year, kidnapped Ikojo, a nursery school pupil, from her school, Michael Omonogu Memorial Nursery/Primary School, Lokoja.

They were also said to have demanded N 16 million ransom, warning that many interested parties were willing to pay more for the head of the girl, should her father fail to pay before the deadline.

Three witnesses who testified for the prosecution, revealed that the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Magaji, who took over negotiation with the kidnappers, feigned to be a rich uncle to the girl's father.

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