Tuesday, May 31, 2016 3:00 pm
A Delta Chief Magistrate Court sitting at the Warri Magisterial District has sentenced one Oghenekevwe Frank Atumu to seven and half years imprisonment for sending threat to life text messages to a former Delta Commissioner, Love Ojakovo, with an intent to extort the sum of N13million.
The Court presided over by Chief Magistrate Ena Odjugo found the 32 years old accused guilty on the three count charge proffered against him by prosecution and sentenced him to two and half years imprisonment for each of the count.
The accused, a cousin to wife of the complainant who is said to be jobless but claimed to be a staff of an oil servicing company based in Port Harcourt, was said to have been allegedly rusticated from Delta State University, Abraka, for Cultism.
Count 1 of the charge sheet reads: “That you, Oghenekevwe Frank Atumu(m) between 2nd and 21st May, 2013 at Warri in the Warri Magisterial District with intent to extort money from Love Okeoghene Ojakovo (m) and his wife, sent threat to life text messages to kidnap them unless the sum of N13 million is paid and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 406 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C.21 Volume 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2016.”
Love Okeoghene Ojakovo, a Commissioner for Finance during the James Ibori administration who reported receiving several threat text messages from a particular Glo line to law enforcement agents and demanding for the sum of N13million, did not initially know that it was his wife’s cousin that was the face behind the mask until it was uncovered by operatives of the DSS. They unveiled the true identity of the sender. This led to his arrest where he made confessional statement admitting to the offence but pleaded not guilty to the three count charge when he was arraigned before the Court for trial.
Sentencing the accused, the trial Chief Magistrate who declined a plea for leniency by Counsel to the defendant praying the Court to impose an option of fine, said that the offence which has become prevalent in society today is a foundation for the serious offence of kidnapping.
The author, Jethro Ibileke, can be reached at [email protected]