A Makurdi High Court on Tuesday sentenced, Jacob Atongo, a 100-level sociology student, Benue State University, to death by hanging for armed robbery.
In his judgment, Justice Adam Onum, held that he was satisfied with the confession of the accused to the charges and therefore, found him guilty.
Onum sentenced the accused to death by hanging, insisting that the sentence prescribed under the law for the offence must be followed.
Atongo conspired with two others and robbed Stephen Akuma, and several others at gun point on June 26, 2012.
The convict and his accomplices robbed Akuma of his Toyota Camry car with registration number Benue AID 39 AA and other victims of valuables, including various sums of money.
He also attacked Judges’ Quarters, Makurdi on July 3, 2012 and robbed no fewer than 15 people, dispossessing them of various items and money at gun point.
The offences contravened the Robbery and Firearms Laws.
During the proceedings, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and testified for himself along with one witness called by his counsel.
Prosecution called seven witnesses and tendered several exhibits, which included two statements made by the convict to the police.
In statements, according to the prosecution, the convict confessed to the commission of the offences.
But counsel to the accused, Mr E.Z. Agbakor, argued that the prosecution failed to prove the case against his client beyond all reasonable doubt.
Agbakor told the court that the accused did not make the statement tendered in court voluntarily, insisting his client was tortured and forced to confess to the offences.
He submitted further that several “material inconsistencies and contradictions existed which cast reasonable doubt on the case of the prosecution’’.
The counsel pointed out that there was no identification parade conducted on the accused, and urged the court to discharge and acquit his client.
On her part, Prosecuting Counsel, Mrs Moji Sule, submitted that prosecution had established every charge against the accused based on the strength of his statements.
Sule argued that there was no need for identification parade where the accused had identified himself with the commission of the crimes. (NAN)
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