Head of the Fulani in Kwara State, Usman Adamu, his brother and one Gidado Idris, were on Thursday sentenced to life imprisonment by Justice Adenike Akinpelu of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin for conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping.
The case was investigated by the Department of State Services and prosecuted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution 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 collecting a ransom of N1 million before his release after spending 20 days with them in the bush.
The kidnap, according to the prosecution, took place in 2022 between May and June.
In her judgment, Justice Akinpelu said the three defendants agreed to commit the offence, adding that whether they were physically present at the kidnap scene 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.”
Justice Akinpelu lamented that “it is saddening and disturbing that community leaders charged with the welfare of their subjects could because of the love of 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 breadwinner of their family, the judge said that “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 N600,000 be paid to Ahmad who is the victim of the abduction.
Hafsoh Isiaq is a graduate of Linguistics. An avid writer committed to creative, high-quality research and news reportage. She has considerable experience in writing and reporting across a variety of platforms including print and online.