Nigerian gets 7 years for kidnap

2001-10-19 19:46

Nairobi, Kenya - A Kenyan court found a Nigerian man guilty on Friday of kidnapping three Americans in April and holding them for a $5.2 million ransom in a Nairobi house.

Augustine Azubuike Nwanga will serve seven years in prison for the kidnappings of Reverend William Daniel Marrow of Norfolk, James Edwards Harrel of San Diego, and Jurgen Robert Ahlmann of Escondido, California, ruled Nairobi Chief Magistrate Boaz Olao.

Azubuike was found guilty on three counts of kidnapping and three counts of demanding money by false pretences. He could have faced 29 years in prison but will serve his sentences concurrently. He was charged in April 25.

Azubuike lured the three Americans to Nairobi by claiming to have $9.5 million worth of diamonds to export. He also said he was looking for investors in a fish export business.

The Americans arrived in Kenya on April 14 and were held for 10 days for a ransom of $200 000 before Kenyan police, in co-operation with the FBI, raided the house on April 24 where the three men were being held and arrested Nwanga.

Two other Nigerians - Johnson Chukwuemeka Obasi and Felix Obioma Anosike - have also been arrested for taking part in the kidnappings. Both men have pleaded innocent and are currently on trial. - Sapa-AP