An Ondo State High Court, sitting in Akure, the state capital, on Tuesday, sentenced to life imprisonment seven men, who kidnapped a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae.
The convicts are Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibrahim, Masahudu Muhammed, Idris Lawal, Abdulkadir Umar and Babawo Kato.
They were initially arraigned on five counts of kidnapping, abducting, aiding and abetting, kidnapping, conspiracy and armed robbery.
Falae, a former Minister for Finance, spent three days in the den of the kidnappers while a sum of N5m was reportedly paid as ransom to the hoodlums to secure his release.
In his judgment, the trial judge, Justice Williams Olamide, held that the seven accused persons were guilty of the kidnapping charges brought against them by the Ondo State Government.
He said the recovered ransom, call logs, and identification of the suspects by Falae himself indicted the accused persons for complicity in the crime.
The judge said, “Having listened to both counsel, it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that they (accused persons) committed the offence with the evidence tendered before me.
“Besides, during the hearing, the victim was able to identify three of them and that the ransom was paid to them. I hereby sentence all of them to life imprisonment.”
He, however, discharged them of two of the charges of conspiracy and armed robbery.