A kidnap and rape covict, Gomina Peter is to die by hanging, according to the decision of a High Court in Asaba, presided over by Justice Mabel Omovie, while Shina Nwoko was acquitted in the same case.
The 1st and 2nd Accused persons, Shina Nwoko and Gomina Peter were arraigned in April, 2014, on a nine-count charge among which included conspiracy to commit felony to wit, kidnapping punishable under section 516 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C21 vol. 1, Laws of Delta State 2006; kidnapping punishable under section 4 (1) of the Delta State Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Terrorism Law, No.8 Laws of the Delta State 2013; Armed Robbery punishable under section 1 (2) a of the Armed Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap R. 11, Vol.14 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Rape punishable under section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap C21, volume 1 Laws of Delta, 2006.
According to the prosecution, on the 8th of September, 2013 PW1 Peace Awele Monye and PW2 Isioma Outime, were traveling in a friend’s car when they heard a gunshot at Onitcha-Ugbo junction at about 9.00pm.
They were intercepted by a car who ordered them to come down from their car, after dispossessing them of their phones at gun point, they were moved into another car, asked to bend their heads while they drove off, and after 30 to 45 minutes they got to a bush where they alighted from the vehicle. PW 1 and PW 2 testified that they saw the 1st accused person there who tied their hands before leading them into the bush.
After walking for some time in the bush, they were blindfolded. The abductors demanded #10,000,000 ransom, which was later, negotiated to #5,000,000. PW 1 and PW2 further averred that they were released on 20th September, 2015 by the kidnappers after #1,100,000 ransom was paid. They equally testified that they were continuously raped from the day of abduction till when they were released.
At the close of evidence, counsels to 1st and 2nd accused persons submitted that the prosecution has failed to prove the offences against the Accused persons beyond reasonable doubt, urging the Court to discharge and acquit them on all the counts.
Citing copious judicial authorities, Justice Omovie sentenced the 2nd Accused person, Gomina Peter to death by hanging for conspiracy to kidnapping punishable under section 516 of the Criminal Code Law, Code C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta State, 2006, kidnapping punishable under section 4 (1) of the Delta State Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Terrorism Law, No. 8 Laws of Delta State 2013 and Demanding with menace, a crime punishable under section 406 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C21, vol. 1 laws of Delta State, 2016.
The court however, discharged and acquitted Shina Nwoko of all the nine counts charge, asserting that the prosecution has failed to prove offences against him beyond reasonable doubt.