Unilorin student jailed 20yrs for attempted kidnap
A 300 level student of Geology, University of Ilorin, Ebenezer Gbadamosi, has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by the Court of Appeal Ilorin Division.
Gbadamosi, 22, who had earlier been arraigned before Justice Sulyman Durosinlohun Kawu of Ilorin High Court, Ilorin, on a three-count charge, was sentenced by the court for attempted kidnap on the son of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (name withheld) in Ilorin.
He had been earlier convicted on charges of conspiracy to Kidnap, threat by means of telephone/SMS to kidnap and attempt kidnap under sections 2,3,5 and 15 of the Kwara State Prohibition and Kidnapping Law, 2010 of the Penal Code.
In case No. CA/IL/C.104/2013, the appellate court, in the lead judgment delivered by Justice Hussein Mukhtar on 10th July, 2014, agreed with the submission of the Assistant State Lead Counsel for the respondent, MAI Akande, that the Appellate Court has the power to re-evaluate the evidence before the trial court and substitute higher sentence for one which the accused person was earlier convicted for by the trial Court.
The Appellate Court further agreed with Akande that the State Security Service (SSS) has the power to investigate a case of kidnap and attempted kidnap as they are offences that constitute threat to internal security.
At the lower court, the trial Judge sentenced the accused to one year imprisonment with an option of N100,000 fine for the offence of extortion, while the 2nd accused person, Samson Ibitoye, was discharged and acquitted.
His acquaintance came on the heels of later findings that Ibitoye, also a student of the University and a lady, only being used by the accused 1st accused.
Represented by Akin Akinloye II, the accused argued that the court could not convict for an offence for which the accused was not charged to court and that the SSS cannot investigate the offence of extortion and kidnapping which the court disagreed with.
Accordingly, the court held that the prosecuting counsel had succeeded in establishing the offence of kidnapping against the accused.
Gbadamosi, (now Appellant), opted for the payment of N100,000 fine in lieu of imprisonment but the decision was contested by the state at the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal, therefore, set aside the judgement of the lower court and substituted his conviction with 20 years' imprisonment without option of fine.
It was gathered that the SAN's son was attacked by people suspected to be armed robbers and was shot while driving in GRA, Ilorin, some months back.
Following the incident, he reportedly approached ECWA Church, Ilorin for a thanksgiving after which the wife started receiving strange text messages claiming there were behind the incident and threatened to kidnap her three children.
When the threat became unbearable, it was further gathered, the case was reported at the SSS office, and advised her to play along with them and went ahead to forward a blocked account, which led to the arrest of a lady that was scheduled to withdraw the ransom.
Her arrest led to the apprehension of the accused persons but she alongside the 2nd accused, findings revealed were lured into the act, which made the court to discharge the 2nd accused.
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