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Court sentences three female kidnappers to death in Akwa Ibom

An Akwa Ibom State High Court in Uyo, has condemned three women, among whom are: Enobong Nsikak Sunday (38), Gertrude Thompson Akpan (48), and Mary Okon James (49), who were professionals in kidnapping and selling children, to death.

They were found guilty of conspiracy and kidnapping, crimes punishable by death under Section 1 of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009, by the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Ette, in his ruling on Friday.

A mother of two from Atiamkpat in the Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, identified as Sunday, met her end in her most recent attempt when she abducted a two-year-old girl she saw at a vigil in Ifa Atai, Uyo, who was “looking poor and hungry.”

She claimed to have followed the mother and kid to their Ifa Atai home while pretending to want to take the youngster to the hospital for treatment.

She claimed that while on her way, she stopped and offered to pay N5,000 to the child’s mother so she could buy food at the adjacent Transformer Junction Market on Abak Road in Uyo, which the woman declined.

She claimed that she did not give up and went back to the woman’s home in Ifa Atai where she successfully abducted the child.

The second convict, Gertrude, from Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ubium, claimed she made N500,000 on each kidnapped child and N200,000 for those that were delivered to her for sale.

The most recent crime that got her in jail involved two children — two years and 10 months old, whom she abducted on December 16, 2018, in Abak Road, Uyo, after convincing their mother that Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel, the wife of the former governor of the state, was empowering the underprivileged and would take her to the First Lady for assistance.

Mary Okon James, also a native of Obotim in Nsit Ibom, was found guilty of purchasing one of the kids for N200,000 and selling it for N500,000 in Aba.

According to Ette, the confessional statements of the accused people link them to one another and conclusively show that they form a highly developed gang for their evil activity.

Delivering his judgment, the court said, “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 civilized society as every child is her potential victim. You have, by your conduct, disqualified yourself from continuing to walk free in organized society as every child is your potential victim.

“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 empathy 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 comfortably.

“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.”

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