From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
Four persons yesterday paid the price for kidnapping the father of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa represent Delta North Senatorial district, Pa Arthur Okowa, as they were sentenced to 45 years imprisonment with hard labour by the state High Court sitting in Owa-Oyibo in Ika North East Local Government Area. Presiding judge, Justice Christiana Ogise handed down the sentence to the convicts who included Fresher Aiwiro, Victor Ajulor, George Ogala and Bright Onyemari, all in their 30s.
They were found guilty in the four-count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping, prefered against them. Justice Ogise held that having listened to the humble plea of the counsels to the accused persons to temper justice with mercy, the court found them guilty as charged. “They will be in jail, with hard labour, for 35 years each for the first and second count charges and 10-year jail term each for the third and fourth count charge, the jail terms are to run concurrently,” she held.
Meanwhile, the counsel to the convicts, Kaliku Ikechukwu, said the judgment would be studied before appropriate action was taken, saying: “As lawyers, we have done our best. It is left for us to study the judgment, before taking sound step against it. I can assure you, we will appeal the judgment.” Pa Arthur Okowa, said to be in his 70s, was kidnapped on July 20, 2008 in his Owa-Oyibo residence and whisked to an unknown destination and in the custody of the hoodlums.