John Charles, Makurdi
A Benue State Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Makurdi has remanded a businessman, Uttah Benjamin, and his wife, Ada, in a correctional facility for criminal conspiracy and kidnapping.
The presiding magistrate, Vincent Kor, who ordered the couple’s remand, adjourned the case till October 26, 2020, for mention.
The defendants live at the Federal Housing Estate, North Bank, a suburb of Makurdi, the state capital.
The police prosecutor, Hyacinth Gbakor, told the court that on August 12, 2020, one Isiana Amarachi of Oji River, Enugu State, reported at the ‘C’ Division Police Station, North Bank, Makurdi, that on August 1, 2020, she was kidnapped from Abuja by someone and taken to a couple, Uttah and Ada Benjamin, in Makurdi.
She said Ada told her that she would stay with her until she would be delivered of her baby.
She stated further that Ada told her that if she gave birth to a baby boy or girl, she would be paid N300,000.
According to the police, Amarachi refused and asked to be allowed to go back, but the couple threatened to kill her and take her baby.
The couple were subsequently arrested for the crime contrary to Section 97 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State, 2004, and Section 3(2)of the Abduction, Hostage-taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities(Prohibition) Law, 2017.
The suspects’ plea was not taken and their counsel, A. A. Andenira, made an oral application for the bail of his clients, but the trial magistrate turned down the application.
Ada was also arraigned for allegedly kidnapping a four-month-old baby at Kadarko, Nasarawa State.
According to the police, one Mbalamen Dogo was in her shop at the Kadarko Market, where she was selling palm oil, and her baby was crying.
She stated that a lady walked into her shop and asked to help carry her baby and she obliged.
The police prosecutor said when the woman returned to collect her baby after attending to customers, she discovered that the lady had disappeared with the child.
The prosecutor added that investigation revealed that the lady conspired with Ada to steal the baby.
Magistrate Kor ordered Ada to be remanded in the custody of a correctional facility and adjourned the case till October 26, 2020.