A 36-year-old native of Ikot Andem Itam in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom has been sentenced to death for armed robbery.
Destiny James Okon was condemned today by an Uyo High Court presided by Justice Archibong Archibong, having been found guilty of robbing Ubotex warehouse in Ifa Ikot Okpon, Uyo, on December 15, 2015.
In a two-hour judgement delivered, Justice Archibong however discharged and acquitted two other accused persons, 40-year-old Ikechukwu Eme from Anambra State and Nwaigbo Kelechi, 36, from Ebonyi, of the charges.
The trio were standing trial on a three-count of conspiracy, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.
Destiny had confessed to the police that Ikechukwu Eme, who is the second accused person, told him that he had a job to monitor when he took him to Ubotex warehouse in a broad daylight and posed as customers and returned at night to rob the warehouse.
He explained that one “Hausaman, Musa” called him December15, 2015 to assist him to custody some Cameroon Zinc, which he accepted and took them to his father’s house in Okobo, IbionoIbom.
Destiny said Ikechukwu, whom he claimed dealt in buying scrap items, was invited to buy the zinc but told “Musa” that he would not buy the items because they were not scrap, except “Musa” would provide receipts of the zinc.
The first accused said since then, the so-called “Musa” has not come back until he was arrested December 18, 2015.
In a judgement in the suit number HU/63C/ 2015, Archibongheld that “it is obvious that the acclaimed “Hausaman, Musa” is a fictitious person manufactured by the accused persons with the aim of misleading the police in the course of investigation.”
He also described it “as a ploy to deceive this court into considering that someone else committed the offense of armed robbery or that the first accused person did not participate in the robbery”.
The court further held that the prosecution by circumstantial evidence of the Doctrine of Recent Possession, has established its case beyond reasonable doubt.”
“It was a clear case of violation of the presumption in Section 419 of the Evidence Act 2019 now Section 107 (5) of the Evidence Act 2010, being the statutory version of the English Doctrine of Recent Possession. It could not have otherwise, if a person is found in possession of property which was properly reported to have been recently stolen with or without violence from another person.” The court held.
Archibong said, “from the totality of the evidence in this case, I can deduce that Musa is a fiction of the imagination of the accused persons. You are hereby sentenced to death. You shall die in a manner to be directed by Akwa Ibom governor. May God have mercy on your soul.”