Jethro Ibileke/Asaba: A 38-year old welder, Onyeka Ossai, has been sentenced to death by hanging for armed robbery and attempted murder, by a Delta State High Court, sitting in Obiaruku.The accused was found guilty by Justice Nduka Obi on a four-count charge of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms, levelled against him.
He was sentenced to death by hanging on the count of armed robbery, 14 years in jail on the count of conspiracy to commit murder, 7 years imprisonment for attempted murder and 10 years in jail for illegal possession of firearms,PM News reports.
During the trial, the prosecution told the court that Onyeka Ossai and others still at large, at Ulogwe Isumpe road Obiaruku, within the Obiaruku Judicial Division, conspired to murder one Chukwunalu Animam, on or about the 1 May, 2011.
The court also heard that the convict and members of his gang attacked Chukwunalu with machetes and inflicted serious injuries on his head and arm, and robbed him of his motorcycle and money.
The accused, it was learnt, was found in possession of a pump action gun at the time of arrest.
The accused who admitted in his voluntary statement to the Police to have committed the offence, however denied same during trial.
He claimed that the victim was attacked because they suspected him of being a police informant.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Obi held that the first prosecution witness was a witness of truth as his evidence was direct, positive and unequivocal, just as he disbelieved the evidence of the accused person.
He also held that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt essential ingredients of the four-count charge preffered against the accused by the state.
Justice Obi who condemned the convict’s act which he described as wicked and barbaric, declined the plea for leniency by his counsel, saying that the sentence will serve as a deterrent to others.
“I hereby sentence you to death by hanging on the neck till you be dead. May God have mercy on your soul,” Justice Obi ruled.