Namibia: New Lawyer for Double-Murder Accused Nikodemus

Windhoek — Lukas Nepela Nikodemus, the man accused of killing two women by shooting them and then burning their bodies at a dumpsite near Pionierspark, will now be represented by Vernon Lutibezi.

This was revealed to Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg yesterday when Nikodemus made a scheduled court appearance.

Lutibezi informed the court that he will not call any additional witnesses in defence and asked for a postponement in order to read the record of proceedings to bring himself up to speed with the matter before he is to argue on the verdict to be delivered.

Judge Liebenberg granted the request and postponed the matter to July 29 at 10h00.

His previous lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji, withdrew from the double murder trial citing lack of trust as the reason.

Siyomunji told Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg that he was no longer comfortable representing Nikodemus as the latter accused him of working against him and trying to bury him.

This came at the end of the defence's case.

Siyomunji also told the court that Nikodemus accused him of not bringing up the issue of "Bennie" already during the pre-trial stages of the trial, to which Siyomunji asserted that he was not the lawyer on record during that stage.

"Bennie" is whom Judge Petrus Unengu called an "afterthought" during the bail ruling, whom Nikodemus says is the real culprit in the matter.

He is claiming that "Bennie" was last in the company of the two deceased.

Nikodemus faces two counts of murder, one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice and one count of failing to lock away a firearm.

He pleaded not guilty to all counts at the start of his trial in September last year, but did not provide a plea explanation and put the onus on the State to prove all the allegations against him.

The State alleges that Nikodemus, 48, killed 29-year-old Johanie Naruses and 23-year-old Clementia de Wee by shooting them with his pistol whereafter he burned their bodies at a dumpsite near Pionierspark in Windhoek during the period January 6 - 7, 2016.

During his first appearance in the magistrate's court, Nikodemus told the magistrate he did not know how to plead as he had no recollection of what had happened.

He further vehemently denied assertions by police officers that were part of the team that arrested him that he admitted to them that one of the ladies killed the other one and that he then killed her.

The State is represented by Advocate Cliff Lutibezi and Nikodemus remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility's section for trial-awaiting inmates.

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