A Delta State High Court in the Ughelli Judicial Division has sentenced one David Tamarakpo Pade to death by hanging and two of his accomplices to 19 years imprisonment with hard labour for kidnapping and armed robbery.
The convicts had kidnapped of the wife of a retired Judge of the Court of Appeal, Mrs. Roli Awala.
The court found the three accused guilty on various counts in its verdict delivered amidst tight security.
The court proceedings were interrupted intermittently by several deafening explosives which were later discovered to be sounds of traditional canons fired to herald the arrival of some political party leaders for a campaign rally held near the court premises.
The convicted kidnappers included a popular native doctor, Moses Omiovwobese, who was sentenced to two years in jail for accessory after the fact, as their 54-year-old victim was rescued from his shrine by the police.
He was discharged and acquitted on the other 4-count charge while the1st accused, 39-year-old Happy Opute, a driver of the retired Court of Appeal jurist, Justice A.P.A. Awala, was found guilty only on the charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and was slammed with a seven-year jail term with hard labour while the 2nd accused person (Pade) was sentenced to death after being found guilty of four of the five-count charge including that of armed robbery.
Assistant Director of the Delta State Ministry of Justice had told the court that the three accused persons with two others still at large, on or about August 5, 2009 at Ireden Crescent, Government Reserved Area, GRA, Warri within the Warri Judicial Division, kidnapped one Mrs. Roli Awala and imprisoned her for six days before she was rescued. He also told the court that they robbed the victim, her husband and daughter of their GSM handsets including their Honda Salon car while armed with a gun.
The kidnappers were said to have placed an initial ransom of N50 million but reduced it to N25 million before she could be released.

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