The Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo has sentenced to death three women who kidnapped three children in Uyo and sold them off in Aba, Abia State for N1.1m.
The convicts – one Enobong Nsikak Sunday, 38; Getrude Thompson Akpan, 48; and Mary Okon James, 49 years old, were sentenced to death by Justice Gabriel Ette after finding them guilty of the offence of conspiracy and kidnapping which is punishable by death under Section 1 of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.
Nsikak Sunday, a mother of two who hails from Atiamkpat in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, was found guilty of kidnapping a girl she met at a vigil in Ifa Atai, Uyo, “looking poor and hungry.”
Sending confessed to have trailed the mother and the child to their house in Ifa Atai from where she deceived the mother of the need to take the child to a hospital for treatment.
On the way, she said she stopped and gave the mother N5,000 to buy foodstuffs at the nearby Transformer Junction Market on Abak Road, Uyo, but she refused.
Like an eagle on the prowl, the convict said she returned to the woman’s house in Ifa Atai, after the first failed attempt, where she successfully kidnapped the unsuspecting child.
The second convict, Getrude Akpan, a native of Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area told the court that she made a profit of N500,000 per child she kidnaps, and N200,000 for those brought to her for sale.
Akpan was found guilty of kidnapping two children, aged two years and 10 months whom she kidnapped on 16th December, 2018 at Abak Road, Uyo, after deceiving their mother that the wife of the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel was empowering the poor and that she was willing take her to the First Lady for help.
The last convict, Mary Okon James who hailed from Obotim in Nsit Ibom, bought one of the children at the cost of N200,000 and sold at N500,000 in Aba.
Delivering judgment on Friday, the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Ette said the confessional statements of the accused persons linked the trio to the nefarious activity and firmly established the fact that they constituted a sophisticated syndidate for their infamous trade.
“For a woman to have gone to that extent, it means she has sealed her conscience with a hot iron and thereby become a threat to civilised society as every child is her potential victim. You have, by your conduct, disqualified yourself from continuing to walk free in organised society as every child is your potential victim,” Ette declared.
“Mary Okon Bassey, a native of Obotim village in Nsit Ibom Local Government, it is your claim that you joined the trade of kidnapping and selling other people’s children in January, 2017. You also claimed to have sold two female children in Aba before nemesis caught up with you. This, you did with no human whatever and not minding what fate awaits your innocent victims and what arrow you have caused to pierce the hearts of their hapless parents. You did this, so you may live big and comfortable,” the Judge stated.
He added, “How did you feel when you took two children from the same mother in your journey to selling them off for filthy lucre? 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 life time 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”, Justice Ette ruled.