Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel is to determine the means and the place of execution of two lovers, one Morris Asuquo Okon and Mirabel Uche Ogbu, who were sentenced to death on Tuesday.
They were convicted this afternoon by an Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene, where the two condemned lovers kidnapped 16 children and sold them for rituals in Aba, Abia State.
Among the victims are three siblings, Uduak Patrick Oscar, 9 years old; Victory Patrick Oscar, 7years old and Treasure Patrick Oscar, who were sold at the rate of N400,000.
None of the kids have been found, life or dead till today.
The crime is contrary to Section 1 (1a) of Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law, 2009.
According to the law, "any person who contravenes the sub-section, shall on conviction be liable to be sentenced to death."
While awaiting the Governor’s determination on when and where the two accused persons will be executed, Mirabel Ogbu and Morris Okon have been to Ikot Ekpene Federal Prison.
In a one hour judgement, Presiding Judge, Justice Ntong F. Ntong convicted Ogbu and Okon in all the three counts charge of conspiracy and kidnapping.
He said "it is despicable where a human being will steal and kidnap her fellow human beings, more especially very vulnerable children and sold them out for the price of sandals."
The Judge added that "it is heartless and opprobrious! It is disheartening and unfortunate that these accused persons could take to this kind of trade for livelihood. The proceeds of this kind of business is nothing but blood money."
According to him, "these accused persons tried their very best to use one lie to attempt to cover up one another when they stayed long in the cell which I compared to a University of Crime."
Justice Ntong ruled that Mirabel Ogbu, a native of Nkerefi in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State and Morris Okon from Abiakpo, Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State, must pay the supreme price in accordance with the law.
After declaring the accused persons guilty, the Judge went for a break, only to return dressing in red rope for final pronouncement.
Immediately Mirabel saw the Judge fully charged, apparently knowing what red signifies, she collapsed in the court, even before the death sentenced was pronounced on her.
Her boyfriend and partner in crime, who was also in the dock, took time to console her and asked her to crying, but to no avail.
For more 10 minutes, Mirabel spoke in tongues inside the court, shouting "Jesus! Forgive me! Have mercy on me!"
After the judgment, they were whisked away in awaiting prison van to Ikot Ekpene Prison.
That's the first time a judge will sentence accused persons to death since the enactment of the law by Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
Reported by Harrison Essien