A Delta State High Court, sitting in Obiaruku has sentenced a 38-year-old welder, Onyeka Ossai, to death by hanging for armed robbery and attempted murder.
The convict was found guilty by the Court, presided over by Hon. Justice Nduka Obi, on the four count charge of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.
He was sentenced to death by hanging on the count of armed robbery, 14 years in jail on the count of conspiracy to commit murder, 7 years imprisonment for attempted murder and 10 years in jail for illegal possession of firearms.
During trial, the prosecution had told the Court that Onyeka Ossai and others still at large, at Ulogwe Isumpe Road, Obiaruku, within the Obiaruku Judicial Division, conspired to murder one Chukwunalu Animam, on or about the 1st day of May, 2011.
The Court was also told that the convict and his gang members macheted Chukwunalu by inflicting serious bodily injuries on his head and arm, robbed him of his motorcycle and money while the accused was found in possession of a pump action gun at the time of arrest.
The accused who admitted in his voluntary statement to the Police to have committed the offence, however denied same during trial. He claimed that they attacked their victim as they suspected him to be a Police Informant who give information to the Police on their criminal activities.
While delivering his judgement, Justice Obi held that the first prosecution witness was a witness of truth as his evidence was direct, positive and unequivocal, just as he disbelieved the evidence of the accused person.
He also held that prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt essential ingredients of the four count charge preffered against the accused by the State.
Justice Obi who condemned the convict’s act which he described as wicked and barbaric, declined the plea for leniency by counsel to the defendant, saying that the sentence will serve as deterrent to others.
“I hereby sentence you to death by hanging on the neck till you be dead, may God have mercy on your soul,” Justice Obi ruled.