Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The High Court of the Federal High Court in Nyanya, Abuja on Thursday sentenced Obinna Echanu for killing an Uber driver identified as Edwin Ali in Abuja on December 26, 2016.
Delivering judgment, Justice Peter Kekemeke convicted 42-year-old Echanu for armed robbery and culpable homicide.
But the judge discharged and acquitted Echanu’s co-accused, Everly Nnorom, 27, for lack of evidence linking him to the alleged crimes.
The police had instituted five counts of conspiracy, armed robbery, unlawful possession of firearms and culpable homicide against the two men.
The judge held that the first count of conspiracy failed as it was not proved beyond reasonable doubt that Nnorom conspired with Echanu to commit the crime.
However, convicting Echanu of the offences on Thursday, the judge held that the police proved counts of armed robbery and culpable homicide against him beyond reasonable doubt against him.
“The first defendant is therefore sentenced to death by hanging on each of the counts,” Justice Kekemeke held.
The judge also ordered that Sienna car and the magnum revolver gun recovered from the convict be forfeited to the Federal Government.
He ordered that the deceased person’s phone recovered from him should be returned to his family.
The judge also directed that allegation of withdrawal of money from the convict’s account while in police custody should be investigated within one month, adding that those suspected to be culpable should be prosecuted in court.
The prosecution alleged that the two men allegedly armed with a revolver pistol and 33 live ammunitions shot and killed Ali.
The police further accused Echanu of being in possession of a magnum revolver pistol on March 21, 2017 in violation of Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act.
Both Echianu and Nnorom had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But while the court believed Nnorom’s defence ending in his acquittal, it dismissed Echanu’s defence and was convicted and sentenced to death on Thursday.