By CHUKS COLLINS
TWO armed robbers, Ikenna Obi and Osadebe Eze, have been sentenced to death by hanging or firing squad for robbing Miss Chinonye Ogujiuba of Eziama Uli in Ihiala Local Government of Anambra State of her handbag, telephone handset and other personal effects, under gunpoint.
An Anambra High Court sitting at Ihiala, presided over by Justice Okey Onunkwo said there was sufficient evidence to convict the two.
The suspects, Anene Maduka, Ikenna Obi and Osadebe Ezeh were said to have on 2 February 2017 allegedly stole a mobile phone, a handbag and N10, 000 cash belonging to Miss Ogujiuba. The phone was valued at N15, 500, while the value of the handbag was estimated at N2, 500.
The third suspect, Anene Maduka, who was charged with the other two suspects was discharged and acquitted for lack of evidence.
Maduka’s identity, which was the first defendant, had become an issue in the trial and the court agreed that he (Maduka) was not properly identified though the victim gave evidence that he was waiting for the others on his commercial motorcycle while the robbery assault lasted.
In their submission, the defence counsels, Calistus Ohanusi and Enright Okilie, had argued that the burden of proof on criminal matters rested on the prosecution who he said did not prove that their clients robbed, or took part in robbing the victim, maintaining that there was insufficient evidence to convict them.
But the prosecution counsel, Charity Madukife, submitted that the burden of proof had been discharged by calling eye witnesses, adding that the defence could not fault the evidence adduced.
In his verdict, Justice Onunkwo, said there was insufficient evidence against the first defendant, Maduka.
The judge noted, “There were eye witness evidence against the convicts as the victim had raised alarm after the robbery, leading to the arrest of the culprits at Umudimogo Ihiala and they were handed over to the police”.
He sentenced them to death.