By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
A Delta State High Court sitting in Asaba has sentenced a kidnapper of a Warri based Journalist, James Okporua Otobrise to seventeen years imprisonment, AUTHENTIC News Daily can report.
The Court presided over by Hon. Justice F.N. Azinge (Mrs.) handed down the judgement after the prosecution counsel, a Deputy Director, T.P.I, Uraih and E.S. Ifedora, for the defendant slugged the matter out legally.
Delivering judgment, the Court said, “I have considered the submissions of the learned Defence Counsel in urging the Court to ameliorate the sentence.
“It is common knowledge that the spate of kidnapping on the increase in Nigeria, particularly Delta State.
” The sentence is to act as deterrent to others who believe that kidnapping is a lucrative enterprise or business and to rid the society of people like the Defendant who live on crime.
“Therefore I will pronounce the sentence as is provided under the law.
“You James Okporua Otobrise is hereby sentenced as follows:
Count I – 7years imprisonment
Count II – 10years imprisonment. To run consecutively. This is the judgement of the Court. “
The kidnapper was arraigned by the Delta State Government on two counts charges bordering on conspiracy to wit: Kidnapping but he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It was learnt that the offence is punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap C21, Volume 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006 and Section 364(2) of the Criminal Code,Cap C21, Volume 1, laws of Delta State of Nigeria 2006.
It would be recalled that Otobrise allegedly kidnapped the Warri based Journalist, Prince Monday Whiskey on the 19th of March 2012 at Orhunwhorhun in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State.
They held the Journalist captive in an uncompleted building belonging to him (kidnapper), blindfolded and chained the hands and legs.
However, the Journalist managed to escape through a window with chains in his hands from the kidnappers den on the 20th of March 2012.
In his bid to escape, the kidnapper offered to help the journalist by taking him on his motorcycle.
A scuffle ensued when victim realized that his helper was the kidnapper who carried him that night.
The journalist gave the kidnapper a human bite during the scuffle which led to the imbalance of the motorcycle as it fell down.
The kidnapper sensing danger, rode his motorcycle away until the current Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Warri Correspondents’ Chapel, Comrade Akpokona Omafuaire came to the rescue of the victim along Oguname-Olomu.
Omafuaire carried his colleague to Otu-Jeremi Police Station with chains in boths hands and legs.
Police investigation led to the arrest of Otobrise, the kidnapper wherein he made confessional statements voluntarily.
In a chat, Prince Monday Whiskey hailed members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Delta State Council for the judgement.
“I thank members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Warri Correspondents’ Chapel and the Delta State Council for standing by me while the incident lasted.
” I also commend the Judiciary as the last hope of the common man for vindicating me from the allegation of crime as perpetuated by some powerful forces within the Delta State Government.
“Lastly, I like to thank my boss, Chief(Dr.) Wellington Okirika, Otunba Sola Adebayo, Akpokona Omafuaire, current Chairman of NUJ Warri and my family.”