34-year Old Man Jailed For 10 years For Selling Six-year-old

THE Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting at Okoita, in the Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of the state, has sentenced a man, Kingsley Eyo, to 10-year imprisonment for abducting a six-year-old boy, Godnews Essien.

Eyo, 34, who hailed from Ikot Otoinyie village in the Uruan Local Government Area, was convicted on Monday by Justice Okon Okon, having been found guilty by the court.

The convict and one other were said to have abducted the boy on July 19, 2018, while he ran an errand for his mother in Ikot Otoinyie village, Uruan.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charge, leading to full trial with the prosecution team from the state Ministry of Justice, led by Comfort Udo, an Assistant Director of Prosecutions, calling three witnesses.

The prosecution also tendered four exhibits, including the police investigation report dated September 20, 2018, and the confessional statements of the convict in which he admitted that his percentage from the human trade was N80,000.

“The money that we sold Goodnews for is with Denis Joshua (accomplice). My percentage of that money was N80,000. Yes, myself, Joshua went to a native doctor, Cletus, from Ikot Akpa Ekong village in the Uruan Local Government Area to do a charm in order to hide it from people,” the convict said in his statement.

Delivering judgement, Justice Okon said, “I have thoroughly and meticulously read and reflected on the entirety of the extrajudicial statements of the defendant and have appraised, scrutinised and evaluated same with the evidence of prosecution witnesses and I can infer that the defendant worked in close collaboration with his friends and cohorts in taking away Goodnews Kufre Essien from the custody of his mother (PW1).”

“I have also taken into consideration the relationship of the defendant with PW1 and the victim in this case. The defendant betrayed and compromised his close relationship with PW1 and her abducted child, who according to the defendant calls him uncle.

“The prosecution has beyond reasonable doubt proved the guilt of the defendant for child abduction as charged and I therefore find the defendant guilty. The defendant, Kingsley Eyo, is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.”