For kidnapping the wife of Jurist: Native Doctor, Driver jailed; another to die by hanging
A Delta High Court sitting at Ughelli Judicial Division has sentenced one David Tamarakpo Pade to death by hanging and two of his accomplices to a total of 19years in jail with hard labour for armed robbery and kidnapping of the wife of a retired Judge of the Court of Appeal, Mrs. Roli Awala
The Court found the three accused persons guilty on various counts while delivering its verdict amidst tight security that last several hours. The Court proceedings was however, intermittently interrupted by several deafening sounds of explosives which was later discovered to sounds of traditional canon, fired to herald the arrival of party leaders to a campaign rally held very close to the Court premises.
The convicted kidnappers include a popular native doctor, Moses Omiovwobese was sentenced to 2years in jail for accessory after the fact, as the kidnapped victim, 54 years old Mrs. Roli Awala was rescued from his shrine after a successful rescue operation by the Police. He was discharged and acquitted on the other 4 count charge while 1st accused, a 39 year old Happy Opute, driver to the retired Court of Appeal Jurist, Honourable Justice A.P.A. Awala was found guilty only on the count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and was slammed with a 7 year jail term with hard labour while the 2nd accused person, David Tamarakpo Pade was not that lucky as he was sentenced to death after being found guilty of 4 out of the 5 count charge including that of armed robbery.
As Assistant Director from the Delta State Ministry of Justice had told the Court that the three accused persons with two others now at large, on or about the 5th day of August, 2009 at Ireden Crescent, GRA Warri within the Warri Judicial Division kidnapped one Mrs. Roli Awala and imprisoned her for 6 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 N50million but later reduced to N25million before she could be released. This count, however failed as the Court discharged them on the count of demanding property with menace.