A Federal Capital Territory Chief Magistrates’ Court in Karu on Tuesday sentenced one Umar Goni to five years’ imprisonment for kidnapping a six-year-old boy and collecting N3 million as ransom.
Chief Magistrate Hadiza Shagari sentenced Goni, 25, after he pleaded guilty to a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and kidnapping filed against him.
The convict pleaded for mercy, saying that he had many dependants, including siblings and aged parents.
Goni, a bricklayer resident in Dutse Alhaji, Abuja, also said that he committed the crime because he needed money to settle his parents’ house rent of N50,000, which had expired.
The chief magistrate said: “I have listened carefully to the plea of the convict and he looks remorseful but he cannot go unpunished.
“The question is: Did you think of the gravity of the offence before you went and kidnapped an innocent six-year-old boy from the comfort of his parents’ house?
“To serve as deterrent to potential kidnappers out there, I hereby sentence you to five years imprisonment without an option of fine.”
The police prosecutor, ASP Adama Musa, said the incident occurred on September 1, 2013 at Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.
Musa said that in furtherance of his intention, the convict called the victim’s parents and demanded N10 million as ransom.
She said that they later settled for N3 million, which was paid by the boy’s parents before he was finally released to them.
The prosecutor added that the convict was later arrested in Maiduguri, Borno State, with the help of his girlfriend in whose house he was taking refuge.
The offence, according to her, contravened the provisions of sections 97, 271 and 273 of the Penal Code.