17 November 2017

Nigeria: Four Arraigned Over Ozubulu Church Killings

Awka — Four persons suspected to be involved in the massacre of worshippers at St Philips Catholic Church Ozubulu few months ago were on Thursday arraigned before an Anambra State Magistrate Court sitting at Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state.

It would be recalled that about 13 persons were killed in the attack while about 22 were injured.

Those arraigned are; Great Chinedu Akpunonu (44), Vincent Ike (57), Chukwudi Ugwu (30) and Onyebuchi Mbanefo (46).

Three other suspects were said to be still at large.

The four were arraigned on 37 count charge bordering on conspiracy and murder.

A South African -based businessman, Aloysius Ikegwuonu, whose father was killed in the attack, the Parish Priest of St Philip's Catholic Church, Rev Jude Onwuaso and six others were called as witnesses on the matter.

Their charges read in part, "That you Great Chinedu Akpunonu, .M. Vincent Ike .M. Chukwudi Ugwu .M. others now at large on or about 6th day of August 2017 at St Philip Catholic Church Amakwa Ozubulu at about 0600hrs in the Ekwusigo Magisterial District did conspire to commit felony to wit: Murder. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 494 of the Criminal Code Cap 36 vol. II revised laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 1991.

"That you Great Chinedu Akpunonu 'm', Vincent Ike m', Chukwudi Ugwu 'm and others now at large on the same date, place, time and within the aforementioned magisterial District did unlawfully kill one Anthoni Ufondu 'f' by shooting her with a gun which caused her death. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 274(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 36 vol. H revised laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 1991.

"That you Great Chinedu Akpunonu 'm', Vincent Ike 'm', Chukwudi Ugwu 'm' others now at large on the same date, place, time and within the aforementioned magisterial District did unlawfully kill one Anurika Obunadike 'f' by shooting her with a gun which caused her death. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 274(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 36 vol. H revised laws of Anambra-144 state of Nigeria 1991."

The counsel for the first defendant(Akunononu), Mr. Okechukwu Ikenna, sought the leave of the court for medical treatment of his client who he said was "seriously ill". The prosecuting counsel, B.A Onwuemekaghi opposed the application, saying such plea should come by writing and not oral.

Application for bail for second, third and fourth defendants failed as the magistrate, C.O Ezenwanne refused the application.

The magistrate however in adjourning the matter handed it over to High Court

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