• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Abia opens trial of 4 murder suspects

The illegality of media publication of mug shot and public parading of suspects under Nigerian law

The Abia State government has opened the trial of four persons suspected to have conspired and murdered two children in 2021.

The children, belonging to a couple, Chima Osuagwu, were killed during a robbery in their home in Osisioma Ngwa local government area of the state.

The suspects, Chigozie Ikeokwu, Amana Temple, Chukwuebuka Nnamani, and Godwin Chimezie, were re-arraigned on January 27 before Justice Teddy Eruba on a five-count charge.

The charges borders on robbery, conspiracy to commit murder, and committing the murder of two Osuagwu brothers, Bright (9) and Victory (7) on April 2, 2021.

The four men were suspected to have conspired and strangled Bright and Victory Osuagwu at their father’s house in Abayi-Ogbuligba while their parents were away.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the five-count charge.

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At Tuesday’s proceedings, Justice Teddy Eruba of Osisioma Court III asked the prosecution counsel to call witnesses.

The prosecution called Ethelbert Amuzienwa who told the court that he was a tenant in the house of Osuagwu where the children were killed.

He told the court how he caught the first defendant, Ikeokwu, while he was robbing Osuagwu’s house.

Amuzienwa said Ikeokwu entered to steal from Chima’s home and that he came out from where he had been hiding to stop the defendant but he made to run away.

He said he then raised an alarm that attracted people to the scene, adding that with the help of neighbours, he was able to stop the defendant.

He added that Ikeokwu later named Temple, as his accomplice. The prosecution witness was cross-examined by Charles Okpaleke, counsel to Ikeokwu and Temple.

The third defendant’s lawyer, Chima Esom and the fourth defendant’s lawyer, Chidi Nwachukwu, also took turns to cross-examine Amuzienwa. Eruba adjourned the case till March 15 for the continuation of trial.