The Kidnappers Of Falae Where Sentence To Life Imprisonment Yesterday

129

It was judgment day yesterday for the abductors of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Chief Olu Falae. They were sentenced to life imprisonment for kidnapping and armed robbery by the Ondo State High Court, sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

Falae was abducted on September 21, 2015 by some herdsmen during his 77th birthday at his Ilado farm in Akure North Local Government Area.

The Akure high chief, who was released four days after paying N5 million ransom, yesterday urged security operatives to go after two members of the gang still at large.

The convicts are: Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibrahim, Masahudu Muhammed, Idris Lawal and two others.

The charges against them reads: “That you, Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed, Idris Lawal and others now at large, on or about Monday, September 21, 2015 at Kajola/Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did give information for the purpose of kidnapping and abducting Chief Samuel Oluyemi Falae.

“Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal, and others now at large, on or about Monday, September 21, 2015 at Kajola/Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did aid the kidnapping and abduction of Chief Samuel Oluyemi Falae.

“Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal, and others now at large, on or about Monday, September 21, 2015 at Kajola/Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did kidnap Chief Oluyemi Falae, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and did not release him until N5,000,000 ransom was paid.

“Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal, and others now at large, on or about Monday, September 21, 2015 at Kajola/Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did conspire to commit a felony to wit armed robbery.

“Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal, and others now at large, on or about Monday, September 21, 2015 at Kajola/Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did rob Chief Olu Falae of N15, 000 and his handset while armed with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.”

The offence, according to the Ondo State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs. Adeyemi Kuti, is contrary to Section 2 of the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Law, 5(1)(a) of the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Laws, Section3(11)(b) of the Anti-Kidnapping and Abduction Law, Section 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms(Special Provision) Act,Cap R11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Section 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act,Cap R11, Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

When the five-count charge was read to the convicts on the first date of their arraignment, they all pleaded not guilty.

When the case came up yesterday for judgment after several adjournments, Justice Williams Olamide said it had been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the convicts committed the crime with the evidence tendered before him.

Justice Olamide also said that during the hearing of the matter, the victim (Falae) identified three of the convicts as those who kidnapped him and threatened to kill him if he failed to pay the ransom while in their custody.

He thereafter sentenced seven of them to life imprisonment.

The DPP hailed the judgment, saying justice had been given to the victim. But, counsel to the seven convicts, Abdulrahman Yusuf, from the Legal Aid Council (LAC), said he would obtain the judgment, study it, and determine whether to appeal or not.

In his reaction published in Premium Times, Falae hailed the life sentence handed down to five of the kidnappers, and urged the police to go after those at large.

The paper reports: “I think the police should not close the case, because so many of them are still at large. The police should go after them and ensure they are brought to justice.”

He also said that the sentence was appropriate as he was opposed to capital punishment.
“No one should take anybody’s life, not even the state,” Mr. Falae said. “Such criminals should be put away in prison for life.”

Recounting his ordeal at the hands of the kidnappers, Falae said: “The boys put me through a terrible time. They starved me and threatened me with their swords; they tore my clothes and made me walk long distances for four days.

“I thank God I did not die during the period. It was a harrowing experience.” Pointing out that it was the business of the security agencies to stamp out kidnapping from the country, Falae said yesterday’s judgment should encourage security agencies to go after other kidnappers across the country.

He said: “The country is becoming one of the most unsafe countries of the world. These kidnappers will stop a vehicle on the highway and abduct the passengers, and this is becoming rampant. We have investors coming into the country; they won’t come if we don’t do something about this.”

Save

Leave a Reply