An Akwa Ibom High Court sitting in Okoita, Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, has sentenced two robbers to 28 years behind bars each.
The convicts identified as Nsikan Friday Tom, aka Nokia, 28, and Augustine Gregory, 27, were sentenced by Presiding Judge, Justice Okon Okon on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, after they robbed a passenger while trying to board a tricycle at Okokon Etuk Street in Uyo.
However, the court discharged and acquitted one Daniel Okon, the third accused person, of all the three counts of conspiracy, armed robbery and membership of an unlawful society.
Justice Okon, while delivering the judgement, which lasted for half an hour, said the court found the duo guilty of two out of the three counts.
He, therefore, sentenced them to 21 years imprisonment for robbery and seven years for conspiracy and held that the sentences should run concurrently.
The court held that although the prosecution did not prove that the robbery involved the use of a gun, there was ample evidence that the victim was robbed of his Lenovo laptop and Gionee M5 phone by the two convicts on August 7, 2016.
The judge discharged and acquitted the convicts of the charge of membership of a secret cult, saying “there is no law incriminating or punishing the making of confessional statements to the police anywhere.”
The court explained that “the prosecution was seeking the conviction of the defendants because they confessed at the police headquarters, Ikot Akpan, Abia, to be members of an unlawful society.”
The family members of the convicts wept uncontrollably on the court premises after the judgment.