Court remands 14 over kidnap of an expatriate in Kogi

Fourteen suspects including a woman were on Thursday remanded in prison custody by an Ebogogo Chief Magistrate Court in Kogi for allegedly kidnapping one Engr Karanadasa Dorawaka, an expatriate, in April.
Chief Magistrate Sam Atsumbe gave the order in his ruling on arraignment of the suspects by the police in Ebogogo, Adavi Local Government of the state.

The prosecuting police officer, C.S. Ayabatu (Insp.) told the court that the woman, Habibat Shainab and 13 men on April 4 criminally conspired and armed themselves with sophisticated weapons to commit the crime.

He said that while armed with AK-47 rifles, single barrel guns, dane guns, axes and other weapons, the suspects barricaded Ayere-Ijowa road in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi and “violently and forcefully kidnapped the expatriate.”

Ayabatu said the suspects shot and killed his police orderly, Cpl Apogu Dzakwa on the spot and took Dorawaka of Borno & Prono Construction Company to an unknown destination from where they demanded a ransom of N20 million.

The prosecutor said that during investigation upon arrest of some of the suspects, one Dr Hesekiel Oyedepo identified the suspects as the hoodlums that barricaded Okene-Kabba road while wearing National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) uniforms.

Ayabatu who had earlier reported armed robbery attack on him said the hoodlums subjected him to severe torture and robbed him at gun point dispossessing him and his family of valuable items.

The items according to Ayabatu include four Samsung Galaxy phones, two BlackBerry phones, two Techno phones, two Green Cards property of his wife and two hundred Pound Sterling.

They were charged with criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, culpable homicide and kidnapping contrary to sections 97(1), 298 C, 221 of Penal Code and Section 3(b) of Kogi State Kidnapping, Thuggery and Other Related Offences Prohibition Law 2010.

Counsel for the accused, Muazu Abbas and Joseph Usman made separate oral applications to the court for bail of their clients, pleading presumption of innocence in consonance with section 36(5) of the constitution.

The prosecutor however opposed the applications on the ground that the offences were not ordinarily bailable more so that relevant laws stipulate life imprisonment without option of fine upon conviction.

In his ruling, Atsumbe refused the bail application saying that cases of kidnapping and armed robbery were rampant in the state as he upheld the submission of the prosecution that the offences were not ordinarily bailable.

“Meanwhile, it is hereby ordered that all the accused persons be remanded at the Medium Security, Federal Prisons, Okene”, he said and adjourned to August 4, for further mention.