Ozekhome’s kidnappers sentenced to 20 years imprisonment

Mike Ozekhome

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday sentenced two of four persons alleged to have kidnapped lawyer Mike Ozekhome (SAN) to 20 years imprisonment each.

The duo jailed are Kelvin Ezeigbe and Frank Azuekor, the first and second defendants respectively.

Justice Binta Nyako ruled that the sentence would run from the day of their arrest.

The judge, however, discharged and acquitted Michael Omonigho and Momoh Haruna, who were third and fourth defendants.

She held that though some of the counts against Ezeigbe and Azuekor attracted punishment ranging from death sentence, life inprisonment to at least 10 years jail term, she said she had found that the accused had been been remorseful of their criminal act.

She said she also found that they had been in custody for about 10 years from the day of their arrest.

The judge also directed that Haruna, who went missing after the attack on Kuje Correctional Centre last year, should be brought to court to face the sin of his escape from lawful custody, even though he was discharged of the counts against him.

The defendants were first arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court on June 9, 2014 on a 13-count charge bordering on conspiracy, armed robbery, kidnapping and acts of terrorism.

They were alleged to have, on August 23, 2013, kidnapped Ozekhome at Iruekpen on his way to Iviukwe in Agenebode, Edo.


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Ozekhome was held in captivity for about three weeks before his release allegedly following the payment of N28 million ransom.

They were also accused of kidnapping Delta State commissioner for higher education, Prof Hope Eghagha; Attanasius Ugbme and his friend, Emmanuel Omorogbe, and killing five policemen and two prison officials.

The defendants were also alleged to have compelled Eghagha to pay N7 million, Ugbome paid N20 million and Omorogbe paid N3.5 million.

The five police officers allegedly killed were Paul Ajaka, Sunday Ewanshiha, Michael Akpada, Bakary Ekong and Innocent Odoh.

They also allegedly killed Lawrence Edora and Oyibo Okoye who were prison officers and made away with their service rifles.

The four suspects were refused bail filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Bala Dakum.

While Ezeigbe and Azuekor were held at the facility of the Department of State Service (DSS), Omonigho and Haruna were held at Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja.