By Timothy Agbaragu
A high court sitting in Asaba, Delta State has sentenced one Amechi Stanley Chidokwe to death by hanging for armed robbery.
Amechi, 30, who hails from Umudora Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State was arraigned before Justice Mabel Omovie for three counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.
The charges are punishable under Sections 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special provisions) Act Cap R11 Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria; 2 (1)(2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special provision) Act Cap R11 Volume 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and 3 (1) of Robbery and Firearms (Special provisions) Act Cap R11, Volume 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The defendant who pleaded not guilty was arraigned before the court on the 20th of November, 2017.
According to the evidence of the nominal complainant, Mr. Kenneth Oseji, on the 13th of January 2017 was accosted by a man at gun point in his premises when he drove home after work at about 5pm and demanded for his car key.
He further testified that when he kicked the man who was joined by two others, the gun fell off from his hand. He raised an alarm which attracted neighbours and ran outside the gate; the assailant and his cohorts also ran away in different directions.
Some of them entered a waiting tricycle outside the gate and with the help of neighbours who started pushing the tricycle, it fell into a ditch and the other occupants ran away while the defendant who was driving the tricycle was apprehended.
At the close of evidence, counsel to the defendant Mr. K. O. Ajayi submitted in his written address that prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond reasonable doubt, even as he urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendant.
The Assistant Chief State Counsel E. U. Ogbolu urged the court to convict the defendant as charged having effectively discharged the burden of proving its case of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempted robbery and illegal possession of firearms against the defendant.
Citing copious judicial and statutory authorities, the learned jurist held that considering the gamut of evidence before the Court, the prosecution has successfully proved beyond reasonable doubt the three counts of conspiracy, attempted robbery and illegal possession of firearms against the defendant.