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Court sentences 3 to death over killing of Rivers ex-militant

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A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has sentenced three persons, Dougbra Ogbe, Emmanuel Gladstone and Pere Matthew, to death by hanging, for the murder of former Niger Delta militant, Soboma George, and a groundnut seller, Joy John-Ejims.

The three suspects were convicted by Justice George Omereji on three counts bordering on conspiracy and murder of George and John-Ejims in 2010.

Justice Omereji, in the judgment that lasted for over two hours, directed that the convicts be tied on their neck till they die.

He held that the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubts, especially with the evidence of an eyewitness, Emmanuel Eniete, who was also victim of a bullet during the attack that led to the death of George.

Justice Omereji noted that evidence and testimonies of the witness had proven that the defendants actually committed the crime as charged.

The trial judge particularly noted among others, confessional statements by the defendants, that they killed the ex-militant because he wanted to kill them after they (Ogbe, Gladstone and Matthew) refused to kill the former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, and the then deputy governor of Bayelsa State, who further indicted them.

However, the Prosecution Counsel, Ipalibo Karibo-Botoye, after the proceeding, expressed happiness that after 10 years prosecution, justice had come to stay.

Karibi-Botoye commended the court for giving George and John-Ejims justice, noting that he was ready to defend his case further at Court of Appeal.

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