Three persons, Michael Taiye, Moses Chukwuemeka and Efetaire Jonathan have been sentenced to death by hanging by three separate courts in Delta State for armed robbery.
In the first case, Michael Taiye, a bricklayer, of 21, Ekpan Street, off Okere road, Warri, was convicted by an Effurun High Court, haven found him guilty of the three-count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms brought against him by prosecution.
According to the prosecution, Taiye was arrested by men of the Ekpan Police command after sustaining gun shots injuries in a gun battle with the patrol team the 11January, 2006 while returning from a robbery operation.
Items recovered from him include a short double barrel gun with live cartridge and a white Volvo car which they earlier snatched from the owner. The police also recovered three other guns after searching the abandoned vehicle.
It was reported that the four-man gang refused to stop at a check point mounted by the police which aroused the suspicion of the security agents and which led to a hot chase while the fleeing gang opened fire on the police.
In his confessional statement to the police, Michael Tauter admitted to committing the offence and also fingered a man called Andrew who was among those that escaped as their gang leader and armourer.
The trial judge, Hon. Justice G.E. Gbemre while delivering the death verdict said: “there is always a day of reckoning and for the accused, today is a day of reckoning as prosecution left no one in doubt as the essential ingredients of armed robbery against the accused was proved beyond reasonable doubt. I thereby find the accused guilty of conspiracy, armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.”
He was subsequently sentenced to death on the count of conspiracy and armed robbery while he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for illegal possession of firearms.
In another development, Moses Chukwuemeka, a trader from Ebonyi State, was sentenced to death by hanging for armed robbery by an Asaba High Court.
Chukwuemeka was on trial on a one count charge of robbing his victim of his commercial motorcycle while armed with a cutlass, after pretending to be a passenger, an offence he reportedly committed in 2009 behind the Ivories Golf and Country club, Asaba. Also to die by hanging for armed robbery is 32-year old Efetaire Jonathan who was convicted by Justice M. Mukoro of Warri High Court.
The convict, a commercial bus driver who hails from Ovwian, Udu LGA, with three others now at large, robbed Tommy Etejire of his RAV 4 SUV on 21 January, 2011, at Upper Erejuwa,Warri within the Warri Judicial Division.
According to prosecution, the convicted armed robber and his other gang members now at large, also held the owner of the car hostage and demanded for a ransom of N30 million but negotiated to N1.2 million which was paid by his family before he finally regained his freedom.
They were however arrested when they attempted to sell the SUV to a popularly car dealer known as “Chief” at Agbor before the Police who suspected their movement at a police check point around Ugorhu junction at Okpe, arrested him.
During trial, the victim narrated before the court that he was about entering his Toyota RAV 4 SUV at Upper Erejuwa, Warri, on the fateful day when he was robbed by the convict and three of his gang members.
Efetaire, who before the incident resided at 19, Samwarri Street, Warri, was convicted and sentenced on a four-count charge of conspiracy, armed robbery, kidnapping and demanding with menace.