Three women have been sentenced to death for the kidnapping of three children in Akwa Ibom State.
It was gathered that the children were kidnapped and sold off in Aba, Abia State, for N1.1 million.
Justice Gabriel Ette of the Akwa Ibom State High Court in Uyo sentenced the accused women to death by hanging.
In his ruling, Justice Ette found the accused guilty of conspiracy and kidnapping, punishable by death under Section 1 of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.
It was learnt that one of the convicts, Enobong Nsikak Sunday, kidnapped a two-year-old girl she met at a vigil in Ifa Atai, Uyo, who looked poor and hungry.
Sunday allegedly trailed the girl and her mother to their house in Ifa Atai and deceived them into believing that she wanted to take the child to a hospital for treatment.
The 38-year-old mother of two from Atiamkpat in Nsit Ubium LGA, was said to have given the mother of the child N5,000 to buy foodstuffs at the nearby Transformer Junction market on Abak Road, Uyo, which she rejected.
After that failed attempt, the convict went back to her victim’s house in Ifa Atai, and kidnapped the child.
The second convict, 48-year-old Getrude Thompson Akpan, an indigene of Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ubium, said she made a profit of N500,000 per kidnapped child, and N200,000 from those brought to her for sale.
Akpan stated that the last two children she kidnapped on December 16, 2018, at Abak Road, Uyo, were two years and 10 months old respectively.
It was learnt that Akpan deceived the mother of the two children into thinking that she would take them to the wife of the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel, for help as she was empowering the poor.
The third convict, Mary Okon James, 49, an indigene of Obotim in Nsit Ibom, was said to have bought one of the children at N200,000 and sold the child for N500,000 in Aba.
In his judgement, Justice Ette said the confessional statements of the accused persons established that they constituted a sophisticated syndicate for their infamous trade.
“For a woman to have gone to that extent, it means she has sealed her conscience with a hot iron and thereby become a threat to civilised society as every child is her potential victim. You have, by your conduct, disqualified yourself from continuing to walk free in organised society, as every child is your potential victim.
“Mary Okon Bassey, a native of Obotim village in Nsit Ibom Local Government, it is your claim that you joined the trade of kidnapping and selling other people’s children in January 2017. You also claimed to have sold two female children in Aba before nemesis caught up with you.
“This, you did with no human empathy and not minding what fate awaits your innocent victims and what arrow you have caused to pierce the hearts of their hapless parents. You did this so you could live big and comfortably.
“How did you feel when you took two children from the same mother in your journey to sell them off for filthy lucre? You had caused your innocent victims sleepless nights, though providence smiled on her for her children to be recovered. You are a pest to society and not fit to walk the earth as a free woman again.
“You, in your lifetime, chose to walk the pathway of crime, and today, you will reap your reward. Those who murder sleep, do not deserve to dream. I find you guilty and the sentence of this court on you is that you be hanged on your neck until you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul,” the judge held.