Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Okoi Eteng, a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of four accused persons for the murder of Miss Elozino Ogege, has told the court how two of the accused persons were apprehended.
Eteng, a police sergeant, also tendered a Tecno K7 mobile phone belonging to the deceased, and was admitted in evidence by the court presided over by Justice Flora Azinge.
Elozino, a 300-level student of Mass Communication of Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, was allegedly murdered by suspected Yahoo yahoo Boys who removed her vital organs.
At the resumed trial of the defendants including Macaulay Desmond Oghenemaro, Ojokojo Robinson Obajero, Nwosisi Benedict Uche and Enaike Onoriode, the prosecution counsel, Omamuzo Erebe called his fifth witness, Sergeant Eteng.
The witness told the court through his written statement on oath that on the 16th day of November 2018, following the report of the case of the missing person reported at the Nigeria Police Station, Abraka, the police deployed its tracking device to locate the handset of the deceased.
He stated that the report from the tracking process showed that on the 16th day of November 2018, a sim card was inserted into the deceased’s handset and used to call the 3rd defendant, Nwosisi Benedict Uche. The report also showed the picture of the 3rd defendant as the person who received the call.
Eteng stated that he was able to identify the picture of the 3rd defendant and this led to his invitation to the police station, adding that on further questioning, the 3rd defendant told him that the number that called him belonged to the 4th defendant, one of the security guards under his supervision and posted to Campus 3 Main Gate of DELSU, Abraka.
The witness further told the court that on receipt of this information, he led a team of policemen to Campus Three Main Gate to apprehend the 4th defendant who was in possession of the Tecno K7 mobile phone.
According to him, on return to the police station, the mother of the deceased promptly identified the Tecno K7 mobile phone recovered from the 4th defendant as belonging to her daughter.
The witness subsequently tendered the handset and the statements of the 3rd and 4th defendants in evidence.
Although, counsel to the 4th defendant, B. Okoh objected to the tendering of the 4th defendant’s statement on the grounds that the 4th defendant never made a statement to the police, the trial judge relied on prosecuting counsel’s in reply to overrule the objection, and admitted the statement in evidence as the grounds of the objection raised by the 4th defendant’s counsel were on the weight to be attached to the statement which the court will determine in its judgment.
Under cross-examination by K. Ajayi, counsel to 3rd defendant, the witness told the court that the arrest of the 3rd defendant was based on the statement by the 4th defendant that the Tecno handset was sold to him by the 3rd defendant.
Other counsels present in court included S.C. Okehielem for the 1st and 2nd defendants and I.J. Ifenedo holding a watching brief for the nominal complainant.
The matter has been adjourned to 16th and 17th December 2019 respectively for continuation of hearing.