Justice Aondover Kakaan of a Makurdi High Court on Wednesday, convicted and sentenced Suleiman Goma and Haruna Idi to death by hanging for the murder of Rev. Fr Alexandra Adeyi.
Adeyi, was the former Vical-General of Otukpo Catholic Diocese.
Both convicts of Orokam in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue were said to have conspired with one Saidu Abdullahi and Aliyu Garba now at large and kidnapped the late Reverend Father at Otukpo on April 26, 2016.
Delivering judgment, Kakaan said that the prosecution, which called eight witnesses, has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubts.
The trial judge held that evidence before him showed that the convicts committed the crimes.
Kakaan further held that three guns and charms were recovered from the convicts at the time and place of arrest in the forest.
The judge also held that the first convict, Goma in his statement tendered in court, admitted that he bought the guns for the purpose of armed robbery and kidnapping
In the suit filed by the Inspector-General of Police, the prosecutor, Mr Simon Iough, told the court that the convicts took the former Vical-General of Otukpo Catholic Diocese to Okumgaga forest in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue where they demanded for a ransom of N2 million.
He said though the sum of N1.5 million was paid as a ransom, the convicts and Abdullahi and Garba(now at large), still killed the clergyman and dumped his corpse in the forest.
However, the convicts who testified and called no witness, denied the allegation.
The Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, reacting when the news of the judgment filtered in at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, hailed the Makurdi High Court for bringing to justice the two surviving kidnappers and murderers of Vicar General of Catholic Diocese of Oturkpo, Benue State, Rev Fr John Adeyi, PhD.
According to his statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer (TNL), he stated that “We are happy that the murderers have been caught and tried. In other hand, we are not entirely happy about the ruling. We, as a Church, never wish anyone dead. What we do, is to pray for sinners to repent even though the death of our Priest caused us serious heartache and pains. We are quite sad seeing this.”
The Catholic Prelate ceased the opportunity to called on Nigeria’s youths to shun crime and criminality, saying that the present Court ruling called for sober reflection.
“So much lessons to learn from this judgment. The major lesson any discerning mind will take from this judgement is that crime does not pay. Why engage in crime? Why take someone’s life? Why destroy what you cannot create or produce?’, Bishop Ezeokafor asked.