Dr. Fred Ekpe Ayokahi, the Senior Lecturer with the Federal University of Lafia, who has been standing trail at the High Court Obi in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State has been convicted and sentenced to serve jail term of six months.
Dr. Ayokahi was sentenced in a case No. NSD/LF233c/2022 between him and the State Commissioner of Police over criminal conspiracy, House breaking, abduction, voluntarily causing grievous hurt without provocation and assault against one Blessing Mathias, 20 years old, has been in detention since 22nd October, 2022 at the Nigeria Correctional services in Lafia.
The suspect was first arraigned in court, alongside three others before the State Chief Jude, Justice Aisha Bashir Aliyu, where the case was assigned to Justice Solomon W. Ayenajeh of the High Court Obi.
Those arraigned with the Varsity Don are Emmanuella Ayokahi, Bob-Praise Ayokahi and Saint-Dan Ayokahi, as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants, who are all his children, while one of the accomplices, Vera Ogbonnaya is still at large.
After several processes filed, issues joined and witnesses taken on the case with exhibits, the Counsel to the 1st to 4th defendants, A. U. Idris Esq had approached the court of an offer for plea bargain, after his clients have pleaded guilty to the crime charged.
It was gathered that, both the parties involved in the case of Dr. Ayokahi and Blessing Mathias have consented to the plea bargain agreement, where charges against the 1st and the 4th defendants are amended.
The convict and the 2nd to 4th defendants were hitherto charged with two count charges of criminal conspiracy and physical assault with canes and sticks, contrary to sections 96 and 264 and punishable under section sections 97 and 265 of the Penal Code, Laws of the Northern Nigeria, 1963 respectively.
Presiding over the matter today, April 20th, 2023, Justice S. W. Ayenajeh convicted the 1st defendant and sentenced him to jail for six months for criminal conspiracy and another six months for assault.
The judge however said that, the sentence will run concurrently in consideration of his plea.
Justice Ayenajeh said, the six months period, which Dr. Fred had been in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service will be reckon with.
He added, consequent upon the plea bargain and taken into cognizance the ages of his children, the 2nd to 4th defendants were however let-off under a six months probation order for six months’
Justice Ayenajeh order that, within the six months period, they 2nd to 4th defendants will be tax with keep the premises of the Nasarawa State High Court of Justice clean and will also be of good conducts, while the third defendant was admonished to shave his dreg locks.
Dr. Fred Ayokahi, when given the opportunity to talk, he thanked his Lordship and parties in the matter for the consideration and the leniency accorded him.
The convict however drew the attention of the court that, as a father and teacher in the federal institution, he was not and has never been found wanting in the discharge of his duties, that he has taken further step to compensate the victim, Blessing Mathias as part of his consent for the plea bargain.
The prosecuting counsel and the State Attorney-General, Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana said, the step taken by the government was to provide for the defendant the second chance in life, particularly the children who are still coming up with bright future.
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