A Nigerian Army officer has been convicted for armed robbery. He was convicted on Thursday and sentenced to death either by hanging or by lethal injection in Adamawa State. The military officer by the name Dompa Hyellablani, with Force number 13NA/70/6142, private, who served at 351 Artillery in Monguno, Borno State, was convicted on two counts charges bordering on criminal conspiracy and armed robbery.
It was gathered that the convict was enlisted into the Nigerian Army in 2013, and served in Plateau State before he was transferred to Borno State and posted to Monguno where he served until 2019. Justice Kanyson Lawanson of the Federal High Court in Adamawa State who presided over the case sentenced the military officer to death on Thursday, after he was tried and found guilty of all the charges leveled against him.
The judge, however, discharged and acquitted 19-year-old Emmanuel Adeka’a, who was arraigned alongside the military officer and joined as a defendant on the same count.
According to the prosecution, Dompa Hyellablani and Emmanuel Adeka’a had on September 9, 2019, while in front of VIS Restaurant, Yola, in the Yola North local government area of Adamawa state robbed Rita Harrison, a staff member of Post Primary Schools Management Board of her vehicle.
Dompa Hyellablani, an indigene of Adamawa State was said to have used an assault rifle to forcefully dispose Rita Harrison of her car, a Toyota Camry LE with registration number: BL 85 LSD – Lagos.
In his statement tendered and admitted in evidence, Dompa Hyellablani told the court that while in Monguno in 2019, the military decided to collect all arms from them, but that he refused to hand over his own due to threats posed by Boko Haram terrorists.
According to his words; “I kept the rifle for self-defence,” he added.
A few days later, he was granted a pass to travel to his home state of Adamawa where he committed the crime on September 9, 2019.
“He was fully dressed in military uniform and armed with a rifle when he saw Rita Harrison in her car in front of the restaurant where he ordered her to give up her car at gunpoint,” the prosecution counsel submitted in court.
Thereafter, he was said to have fired four shots to scare away those who might want to rescue the woman. He also threatened to shoot his friend who was also trying to escape for his life and ordered him to drive the stolen car to his hotel apartment around 11:30 pm. However, they were intercepted by a team of local vigilantes while on their way to the hotel and handed over to the police.
While pronouncing the death sentence on the military officer, Justice Kanyson declared that the prosecution had proved its case against the defendant as charged, and sentenced the military officer to death, either by hanging or by lethal injection.
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