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Taraba CJ Sentences Two To 10 Years For Illegal Firearms Possession


Taraba state Chief Judge, Justice Joel Agya, on Tuesday sentenced two persons to 10 years imprisonment without an option of fine for illegal possession of firearms.


The convicts, Usman Tafi Yau and William Duaknaan, were being tried on a three-count charge of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, and illegal possession of firearms.



Justice Agya in his judgement, told the prosecuting counsel, Madina Kabir, that she failed to prove in the case brought before the court that the defendants actually conspired with others currently at large to abduct one Mohammed Abba at ChediyaVillage in Wukari Local Government Area on March 29, 2020.



On this premise, he cleared the defendants of the charges of criminal conspiracy and kidnapping.



However, he said the convicts were found guilty of illegal possession of firearms based on their confessional statements, which were corroborated by the exhibits presented and the oral evidence of witnesses brought before the court.


Counsel to the first and second defendants, Mr Ibrahim Bawa and Mr Peter Ibeh respectively, pleaded with the presiding judge to temper justice with mercy in his ruling.


Justice Agya, in his verdict noted that if the prosecuting counsel had done due diligence on the matter, the defendants would have been sentenced to death based on the state's anti-kidnapping law.


He explained that the convicts, in their confessional statements, admitted to kidnapping a Fulani man at Giwan Kogi in Gassollocal government area of the state on March 28, 2020.


However, the case they were being tried for, was the kidnapping of Mohammed Abba, who was abducted at Chediya Village in Wukari on March 29, 2020.


The defendants were arrested at Chediya Village, where they had gone to buy food for themselves and their kidnap victim when they were apprehended by the vigilante group.



"following the provision of Section 3, sub-section 1 of the robbery and firearms (special provision) Acts 2004 I hereby sentence the convicts to 10 years imprisonment without an option of fine, and the sentence will run from 2020," Justice Agya delivered.

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