Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
An Otuocha High Court II presided over by Hon. Justice Mike O. Okonkwo will on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, rule on whether to proceed with the trial of seven persons arraigned for multiple murder of Mr.
Ikechukwu Opene whose skeleton was recovered and Mr. Samson Aliegwu whose face was burnt at Okosa land in Nkwele Ezunaka, Oyi Local Government Area in January 2018.
The court will also decide whether one of the suspects is entitled to be admitted to bail or not.
The suspects aka Nkwele Ezunaka 7, are Chukwuka Nnonyelu, Ezeayom Chinonso, alias Ikemba, Sunday Okeke, Ifeanyi Samuel, Austine Lucky, Obiorah Okafor, and Obi Jideofor.
At the last sitting of the court, counsel to Ezeayom Chinonso who is the first defendant, Chief A. C. Anaenugwu, (SAN), had challenged the court’s jurisdiction among other things over the matter.
Also counsel to third and fourth defendants, S. O. Nnabugwu moved a motion for them to be admitted to bail.
However, the chief state counsel, C.G Okonkwo-Okom, in a counter-motion stated that the court has jurisdiction over the matter because the “charges against the defendants include capital offence of murder, attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms.”
Okonkwo-Okom also stated that the charges complied with the provisions of Section 142 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2010, among others.
On the motion for bail, Okonkwo-Okom stated that the applicant is from “a very remote area of Umuduru in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State.”
She canvassed that granting accelerated hearing of the case to determine the applicant’s innocence or otherwise will serve the interest of justice in the case.
She stated that the applicant had not placed before the honourable court any exceptional, unusual or special circumstances to warrant the court to exercise its discretion to grant bail in favour of the applicant.
After the motions were presented, the court adjourned till October 16 when the motions would be argued for determination.
Over 20 witnesses including police officers caught in the fire and wounded have been pencilled down to testify on the seven-count charges in the suit No:OT/21c/2019