Woman sentenced to d*ath for kidnapping 2 children in Akwa Ibom

The woman abducted the minors after lying to their mother about an empowerment programme.

A 48-year-old woman identified as Gertrude Akpan, has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of kidnapping two children, aged two years and 10 months.

Akpan was said to have kidnapped the children on December 16, 2018, on Abak Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom capital after deceiving their mother that the wife of the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr Martha Emmanuel, was empowering the poor.

In what appeared as a disguise to the victim’s mother as leverage for her kids to be beneficiaries of the said empowerment, Akpan stated that the programme was designed for the poor by the First Lady.

Confessing the crime, the convict said she made a profit of ₦500,000 per child she kidnapped and ₦200,000 for those brought to her for sale.

Aside from Akpan, the Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo also convicted one Enobong Sunday, 38, and Mary James, 49, for kidnapping.

Justice Gabriel Ette of the court, who presided over the kidnapping matters, found Akpan, Sunday, and James guilty of conspiracy and kidnapping, which according to him, are punishable by death under section 1 of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.

In his ruling, Ette said the confessional statements of the accused persons linked them to the crime.

“How did you feel when you took two children from the same mother in your journey to selling them off for filthy lucre?” The judge said as he queried Akpan.

“You had caused your innocent victims sleepless nights, though providence smiled on her for her children to be recovered. You are a pest to society and not fit to walk the earth like a free woman again ever. You, in your lifetime, chose to walk the pathway of crime and today, you will reap your reward. Those who murder sleep, do not deserve to dream. I find you guilty and the sentence of this court on you is that you be hanged on your neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul,” he added.

The judge, however, maintained that the conviction would serve as a deterrent to others taking the path of crime in the country.

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