Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A Delta State High Court sitting in Asaba has sentenced one Amechi Stanley Chidokwe to death by hanging for armed robbery.
The 30-year old convict who hails from Umudora Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State, was first arraigned in November 2017 on a three-count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.
The offences are punishable under Sections 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special provisions) Act Cap R11 Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria; 2 (1)(2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special provision) Act Cap R11 Volume 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and 3 (1) of Robbery and Firearms (Special provisions) Act Cap R11, Volume 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Handing down the death sentence, the court held that the prosecution proved the case beyond reasonable doubt considering the gamut of evidence against the defendant, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In his testimony, the nominal complainant, Barrister Kenneth Oseji, said he was accosted on January 13, 2017 by a man at gun point in his premises when he drove home after work at about 5pm.
He said the intruder demanded for his car key, adding that when he kicked the man who was joined by two others, the gun fell off from his hand.
Oseji said he raised an alarm which attracted neighbours, and that he an outside the gate while the said intruder and his cohorts also ran away in different directions.
According to him, some of them entered a waiting tricycle outside the gate, and with the help of neighbours who started chasing the tricycle, it fell into a ditch and the other occupants ran away while the defendant who was driving the tricycle was apprehended.
In his written address, counsel to the defendant, Barrister K.O. Ajayi had submitted that prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond reasonable doubt, even as he urged the court to discharge and acquit his client.
But the prosecution, an assistant chief state counsel, E.U. Ogbolu urged the court to convict the defendant as charged having effectively discharged the burden of proving its case.