The Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, on Thursday sentenced a traditional ruler and two others to life imprisonment for conspiracy and kidnapping.
Those convicted are the Sarkin Fulani of Kwara, Usman Adamu, his brother, and one Gidaddo Idris.
The three men were arraigned by the state government for kidnapping one Abubakar Ahmad in 2022.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the state, Idowu Ayoola, told the court the convicts collected a ransom of N1 million before releasing their victim who had spent 20 days in captivity.
In her judgment, Justice Adenike Akinpelu held that evidence adduced by the prosecution proved that all three accused persons connived to commit the crime.
She said the argument on whether or not they were physically present at the scene of the crime was immaterial.
The judge said: “I am not persuaded by the submissions of counsel to the defendants to dismiss the two-count charge against them based on the fact that they were not at the scene of the incident.”
“It is saddening and disturbing that community leaders charged with the welfare of their subjects could because of the love of money breach the security of the same subjects.
“They are hereby found guilty as charged and are so convicted.
“By Section 15 of the state Anti-Kidnapping Law, the court cannot exercise any discretion of leniency.
“So, the defendants are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. The sentence is to run concurrently.”
The judge also ordered the convict to pay N600,000 to the victim as damages.
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