State Counsel Harps On Crimes Under Govt Prosecution List

…As Prosecution Witness Cross-Examined

A resident state counsel attached to High Court 16, Kingsley Briggs, has said that the Rivers State government prosecutes criminal matters which carry capital punishment.

Speaking at the end of the cross-examination of his witness by the defence counsel on Monday, Briggs said that it was government’s responsibility to prosecute crime.

However, there was fiery cross-examination of the first prosecution witness by the defence counsel over case of kidnapping.

The resident state counsel said: “Every matter that has to do with criminal prosecution more especially when it has to do with capital issues it is the state that prosecutes, capital issues that carry capital punishment”.

He said such capital matters include homicide, kidnapping, armed robbery and possession of firearms saying that it is the state government that prosecutes them.

The matter involved an alleged kidnap of a boat driver, Sunday Uduak, on Cawthorne Channel in 2020.

Speaking about the case, the resident state counsel said that it was “a case about kidnapping on our waterways” saying that a boat owner had made complaint to disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) about kidnap of her boat driver.

The counsel said that the boat owner was harassed by the kidnappers who had demanded ransom threatening that they would kill the driver unless she paid ransom.

He said the kidnappers contacted her via her driver’s phone.

He said the boat owner paid N200,000 ransom but the kidnappers subsequently made her life “living hell” by demanding more amounts.

He said she had reported to the police who tracked and arrested one of the kidnappers.

The alleged kidnapper was in the dock as defence counsel cross-examined the first prosecution witness, who was the kidnap victim.

Under cross-examination, the witness said he was allegedly kidnapped on 19January, 2020 and rescued on 20 January, 2020.

The presiding judge, Hon. Justice I.R Minakiri, adjourned to 11 and 12 April for continuation of hearing.


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