An Akure High Court in Ondo state has sentenced seven Fulani hersdmen involved in the kidnapping of an elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, to life imprisonment.
The convicts, Abubakar Auta, Bello Jammu, Umaru Ibrahim, Masahudu Muhaedi, Abdukadir Umar, Babawo Kato, and Idris Lawal, were however discharged of conspiracy and armed robbery.
Justice Williams Olamide in his judgement said the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt, found them guilty of kidnapping the former finance minister in his farm in Ilado village, near Akure in September 2015.ROAD TO JAIL: The convicts after sentence.
Falae spent three days in the custody of the kidnappers during which a N5 million ransom was paid.
But he was later freed in a rescue operation led by the then Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase.
The case’s prosecutor, Mrs Adesola Adeyemi-Tuki, spoke with newsmen after the judgement and described the verdict as “justice well served”.
“The prosecution has been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence.
“One of the points is that the victim was able to identify three of them when he was kidnapped.
“We also proved their guilt through forensic analysis, phone records and tracking of mobile phones of defendants.
“Part of the ransom money was also found in the vehicle of the suspects, which is part of the evidence that corroborated their confessional statements,” she said.Kidnappers of Chief Falae with their leader Abubakar Auta holding N823,900 of the ransom in Akure