The Effurun High Court I in Uvwie local government area of Delta State has sentenced Emmanuel Ruekpe and Peter Okoro to death by hanging on charges of conspiracy and armed robbery. Justice E. I. Oritsejafor delivered the judgement after carefully examining all available evidence.
According to the nominal complainant, Mr Ode Odera Gabriel, the two defendants boarded his bike on September 24th, 2016, at Otu-Jeremi junction and agreed to pay N400 to go to Owhawa town. However, in the course of the journey, the 2nd defendant claimed that his face cap fell down and wanted to pick it up before breaking a Coca-Cola bottle. To avoid being stabbed, the nominal complainant ran away.
The nominal complainant recognized the first defendant as a local dancer and subsequently reported the matter to the Oghoir vigilante chairman, which led to the arrest of both defendants and their transfer to the Ovwian Police Station.
During the trial, the prosecution, led by Mr Ezeana Ejiofor, a deputy director in the state Ministry of Justice, presented overwhelming evidence, which Justice Oritsejafor noted was sufficient to discharge the burden of proof on the case. The defendants were charged on two counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, punishable under section 1(2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (special provision) Act, cap R.II, volume 14 law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Reacting to the judgement, Ejiofor expressed satisfaction with the ruling and called on the government to consider abolishing the death sentence and replacing it with alternative life imprisonment. He also advised young people to shun illegal activities and to work hard to achieve success instead of getting involved in any form of crime that could cut short their lives, freedom, dreams, and aspirations.
In conclusion, the father of the second defendant should be recognized for his honorable and straightforward disposition, as he admitted to the authorities that he saw his son with a bike which fits the description of the stolen motorbike and subsequently took his son to the police station. The case serves as a reminder that crime does not pay, and justice will always be served to those who break the law.