Killers of a Benue Catholic priest, Fr. John Adeyi, have been sentenced to death by hanging by a Makurdi High Court.
The Catholic Priest who was kidnapped by gunmen in 2016, killed and dumped in a farm near Otukpo, was the Vicar-General of Catholic Diocese of Otukpo and Parish Priest of Catholic Church, Okpoga.
In his ruling, Justice Andove Kaakan said prosecutors had proven beyond reasonable doubt that the two convicts conspired to murder the priest after receiving a ransom of N1.5 million to N500,000 less than they demanded.
Two kidnappers who were among the four arrested by the Intelligence Response Team led by ACP Abba Kyari few months after, died in custody in unexplained circumstances. The two surviving suspects were found guilty by the Makurdi high court, and handed a death sentence on Wednesday.
Abba Kyari who reacted to the verdict in a Facebook post, wrote;
“Glory be to God Almighty, the kidnappers and killers of Rev. Fr. John Adeyi of Otukpo Diocese Benue State, whom we arrested in 2016 after a serious manhunt in Bauchi, Benue and Enugu states have been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging by the High Court in Makurdi, Benue State. Justice has been delivered to the kidnappers and killers of the innocent man.
“My unit, IRT has recorded her first death conviction since inception in 2015,” he posted.
The Inspector General of Police filed the case against both convicts, who are from Orokamu in the Ogbadibo Local Government Area of the state. The judge listed weapons obtained from the accused persons to include two pistols, one Dane gun and charm.
Justice Kaakan said Goma had confessed to buying the gun for robbery and kidnapping.
Though the family of the late cleric applauded the judgment in a statement, however they noted that the development reminded them of the sad loss of their son. It is gratifying, however, to know that the culprits did not go unpunished. May the soul of Fr Adeyi continue to rest in perfect peace with his creator,” the family stated.