A Magistrate’s Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday ordered 13 persons, including the traditional ruler of Aluu community, Alhaji Hassan Welewa, to be remanded in prison custody for the murder of four University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students.
The accused are standing trial for the murder of Tuko Lloyd, Ugonna Obuzor, Tekena Elkanah and Chidiaka Biringa, who were believed to have been framed up as robbers and lynched in Omiakiri–Aluu, Rivers State, on October 5.
The charge sheet indicated that the accused faced a five-count charge of murder, felony, conspiracy, lynching and burning.
They included Lucky Orji, a 43-year-old former police sergeant who reportedly partook in the murder. He is listed as the third accused.
Rivers State Commissioner of Police Mohammed Ndabawa, who is the plaintiff, was represented by Adiari Idafi, a sergeant.
Idafi told Magistrate Emmanuel C. Woke that the suspects allegedly killed the four UNIPORT students.
He identified the accused as Hassan Welewa (59), Lawal Segun (28), Cynthia Chinwo (24), George Nwadei (20), Ekpe Daniel (30) listed as 1st, 2nd, 4th – 6th accused respectively.
Others are Okoghiroh Endurance (24), Gabriel Oche (33), Ozioma Abajuo (23), Endurance Edet (27), Ikechukwu Louis Amadi (aka Kapoon) (32), David Chinasa Ugbaje (30) and Chigozie Evans Samuel, listed as 7th – 13th accused in that order.
The offence is punishable under Section 314 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Laws of Rivers State, Nigeria, 1999 and Section 319 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. III laws of Rivers state, Nigeria, 1999.
Although the charges were read to the 13 accused persons, who said they understood the crimes they were standing trial for, their pleas were not taken.
Woke ordered that the accused be remanded in police custody for further investigation and adjourned the case till December 20.
The suspected killers are facing a five-count charge, including conspiracy and murder.