Justice Augustine Odokwo of Akwa Ibom State High Court has sentenced 31-year-old Ekerete Ukpong to death for kidnapping a four-year-old boy.
The pronouncement of the judge, who had changed to a black cap before the sentence, caused the convict to weep uncontrollably in the courtroom before he was taken away by officials of the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Ikot Ekpene.
The victim, four-year-old Success Kalu, an indigene of Ohafia in Abia State, was kidnapped on September 25, 2015, at Ibiakpan Akananwan in Ikot Ekpene by the convict, Ekerete Ukpong, a native of Udok Atai in Ikono Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.
Justice Odokwo found Ukpong guilty of kidnapping the child who is yet to be found.
The judge said the crime was punishable by death under section 1 of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.
“The convict is taking the punishment alone though records show that he acted with the connivance of others, who are now at large.
“The judgment should send a clear signal to all and sundry that the full weight of the law will descend on kidnappers.
“His Excellency, the governor of Akwa Ibom State, will determine the means and place of the execution within the state,” the judge said.