A federal High Court sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, on Wednesday sentenced a 30-year-old man, Amechi Chidokwe, to death by hanging for armed robbery.
Amechi, who hails from Umudora Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State, was arraigned in 2017.
The judge, Justice Mabel Omovie, in a three-count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms, sentenced the convict to death by hanging.
She said the offences were punishable under sections 1(2)(a), 2(1)(2) and 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act Cap. R11 Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The convict had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was arraigned before the court on November 20, 2017.
According to the evidence of the nominal complainant, Mr Kenneth Oseji, on January 13, 2017, Chidokwe had demanded his car key at gunpoint after he drove home from work around 5pm.
He further testified that when he kicked the convict, the gun fell off his hand and he raised the alarm, which attracted neighbours.
“Together with his accomplices, they entered a tricycle waiting outside the gate. With the help of neighbours who started pushing the tricycle, it fell into a ditch and the other occupants ran away. Amechi (Chidokwe), who was driving the tricycle, was apprehended,” he said.
The defence counsel, Mr K. O. Ajayi, submitted in his written address that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond reasonable doubt, even as he urged the court to dismiss the case.
The Assistant Chief State Counsel, E. U. Ogbolu, however, urged the court to convict the defendant as charged.
Justice Omovie, in her judgment, said, “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; he is to die by hanging”.