Man sentenced to death for kidnapping four-year-old in Akwa Ibom

31-year-old Ekerete Ukpong, has been sentenced to death for kidnapping a four-year-old boy in Ikot Ekpene LGA of Akwa Ibom State.

Justice Augustine Odokwo of the Akwa Ibom State High Court said the court found the convict Ukpong, who hailed from Udok Atai community, in the Ikono Local Government Area of kidnapping, punishable by death under Section 1 of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law 2009.

The judge held that the prosecuting counsel notified the court that the victim, Success Kalu, a native of Ohafia in Abia State, who was kidnapped on September 25, 2015, at Ibiakpan Akananwan, Ikot Ekpene, had yet to be found.

He said kidnapping was prevalent in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, and Nigeria at large, hence all hands must be on deck to rid society of the menace, which he noted “has assumed a hydra-headed dimension.”

The court held that “the convict is taking the punishment alone although records show that he acted in consent with others, who are now at large. I have given due consideration to the plea for mercy and forgiveness by the convict and his learned counsel.”

“The judgement should send a clear signal to all and sundry that the full weight of the law will descend on kidnappers.

“I have gone through Section 1 (2) of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law 2009, the section that provides for punishment for the offence of kidnapping. That section provides for only one punishment. I will in this circumstance, follow the law and the law only. The sentence of this court against the convict is death,” Justice Odokwo added.