Court frees seven Aluu suspects

SEVEN out of the 18 suspects arraigned before a Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate’s Court over their alleged involvement in the gruesome murder of four University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students in Aluu community of Ikwerre Local Council Area have been freed.

The accused persons were standing trial before the Chief Magistrate, Emmanuel C. Woke, on a five-count charge of murder, lynching, killing and conspiracy.

It would be recalled that four students of UNIPORT: Ugonna Obuzor, Lloyd Toku Mike, Tekena Elkana and Chiadika Biringa, were murdered at Omuokiri, Aluu community, on October 5, last year.

Several arrests were made in connection with the heartless killing of the four under graduates; the first three suspects arrested were Finebone Jeffrey (23), Joshua Ekpe (27) and Abang Cyril (27). The victims have been buried.

During an earlier sitting on the case, the state prosecution, State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), CSP Henry E. Njoku, told the court that the accused persons and others on October 5, 2012, at Omuokiri Aluu community, did murder Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Chiadika Biringa and Tekena Elhanah by lynching and burning them to death.

He averred that the accused persons committed an offence punishable under Sections 319 (1), 324 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol II, Laws of Rivers State, 1999.

The accused persons were not allowed to take any plea on the matter.

During a sitting on the matter, seven persons out of 18 were discharged by the Chief Magistrate following the advise from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The trial Chief Magistrate, Emma Woke, discharged the seven after he read the DPP legal advice dated January 25, 2013, before the court.

He explained that the seven persons were arrested and charged to court based on suspicion.

One of the arrested traditional rulers of the community, Alhaji Hassan Welewa and 10 others were indicted by the DPP advice for negligence in averting the killing and active participation.

The names of the seven freed suspects include: Cynthia Chinwo, George Nwadei, Ekpe Daniel, Gabriel Ochie, Endurance Edet, Lucky Agwurum and Finebone Jeffrey, aka Soso.






The DPP advice noted that there was no prima facie case of murder against them contrary to Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37 Volume 2, Laws of Rivers State, 1999.

Part of the DPP advice reads: “It is a trite law that suspicion, no matter how strong, cannot take place of legal proof without concrete evidence to substantiate it, and as such, they were victims of circumstance and, therefore, charging and prosecuting them will be an exercise in futility.”

“We did not observe a case of murder against Alhaji Hassan Welewa, Okoghiroh Endurance Ozioma Abajuo and Chigozie Evans Samuel, but their offence was “neglect to prevent a felony”, contrary to Section 515 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37, Volume 2, Laws of Rivers State, 1999”.

The trial Chief Magistrate informed the court that Alhaji Welewa and 10 others would face fresh charges by the DPP.

It noted: “Your original case file will be retained to enable us file information with proof of evidence for the avoidance of doubt, against Lawal Segun, Ex-Sergeant Lucky Orji, Ikechukwu Louis Amadi, (aka Kapoon), David Chinasa Ogbada, Abiodun Yusuf, Joshua Ekpe, Abang Cyril, Alhaji Hassan Welewa, Okoghiroh Endurance, Ozioma Abajuo and Chigozie Evans Samuel in the Port Harcourt High Court.”

The DPP advice, however, urged the police to intensify efforts to arrest the five suspects still at large.

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