A Kwara State High court sitting in Ilorin on Thursday sentenced the Serikin Fulani also known as Ardo (Head of the Fulani) in Kwara State, Alhaji Usman Adamu, his brother and one Gidado Idris to life imprisonment for conspiracy to kidnap and commission of kidnapping.
The case was investigated by the Department of State Security and prosecuted by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the state Ministry of Justice.
The DPP, Mr Ayoola Akande, charged the Serikin Fulani, and two others with the offence of kidnapping one Abubakar Ahmad and collected a ransom of N1m before his eventual release after spending 20 days with them in the bush.
The kidnap incident, according to the prosecution, took place between May and June 2022.
In her judgment, Justice Akinpelu said the trio were all in agreement to commit the offence, adding that whether they were physically present at the kidnap scene or not was immaterial.
She added that the convicts “supposedly arrested their victim claiming that he was a kidnap suspect to extort money from him.
“I am not persuaded by the submissions of counsel for the defendants to dismiss the two-count charge against them based on the fact that they were not at the scene of the incident.”
The judge said the trio were all in agreement to commit a crime, adding whether they were physically present at the kidnap scene or not was immaterial.
Akinpelu lamented that “it is saddening and disturbing that community leaders charged with the welfare of their subjects could, because of the love for money, breach the security of the same subjects.
“They are hereby found guilty as charged and are so convicted.”
After listening to the convicts’ allocutus plea of having over 20 children, more than eight wives and being the bread winners of their families, the judge said, “By Section 15 of the Kwara State Anti-Kidnapping Law, the court cannot exercise any discretion of leniency, so you are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. The sentence is to run concurrently.”
She ordered that a sum of N600,000 be paid to Alhaji Ahmad who is the victim of the abduction.
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