Man to be hanged for armed robbery in Akwa Ibom
Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo presided over by Justice Archibong Archibong has sentenced a 36-year-old man, Destiny James Okon, to death for armed robbery.
Okon was condemned after the court found him guilty of robbing Ubotex warehouse in Ifa Ikot Okpon, Uyo, on December 15, 2015.
Justice Archibong in a two-hour judgement, however, discharged and acquitted two other accused persons, 40-year-old Ikechukwu Eme and Nwaigbo Kelechi, 36, of the charges.
The trio were standing trial on a three-count of conspiracy, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.
Destiny Okon 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 Musa called him 15th day of December 2015 to assist him to keep some Cameroon Zinc, which he accepted and took to his father’s house in Okobo, Ibiono Ibom.
He also told the court that Eme, whom he claimed deals in buying scrap items, was invited to buy the Zinc but told “Musa” that he would not buy the items because they were not scrapped, except Musa would provide receipts of the Zinc.
The first accused said Musa did not come back before he was arrested on 18th December 2015.
In a judgement in the suit number HU/63C/ 2015, Justice Archibong held that “it is obvious that the acclaimed ‘Musa” is a fictitious person manufactured by the accused persons to mislead the Police in the course of the investigation”
He described it “as a ploy to deceive this Court into considering that someone else committed the offence 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 a 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.
“From 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 State Governor. May God have mercy on your soul.” Court held.