Delta killings: Suspects beg to be tried in own state

Church Blog

By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Seven persons accused of being behind the 2017 killing of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko Community of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, on Thursday, challenged the propriety of the decision by the Federal Government to prosecute them in Abuja.

FG, in the charge that was filed by the office of Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) alleged that the seven – Nwochie Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku- in May 2017, unleashed terror on the community by burning houses.

The prosecution told the court that one Cyprian Kumaorun was killed in the process.
At their arraignment on November 2, 2020 the defendants pleaded not guilty to the amended three-count charge brought against them by the prosecution.

At the mention of the case before Justice Okon Abang, lawyers to the defendants informed the court that they have filed an application for the case-file to be transferred to Asaba, Delta State.

“We have a motion for transfer of the matter from Abuja to Asaba or any other jurisdiction that is within the axis.

“We don’t even mind if the case is transferred to Benin, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt or even Anambra,” lawyer to the first defendant, Prof. Agbo Madaki said.

Lead prosecuting lawyer, Shuaibu Labaran, sought an adjournment to enable him respond to the application for transfer filed by the defendants.

Consequently, trial Justice Abang deferred hearing of the Defendants’ application till Friday.

“The commencement of trial in this matter will depend on the outcome of the application”, Justice Abang held.

FG earlier prayed the court for an accelerated hearing of the case since it was terrorism related.
It equally informed the court that a total of 14 witnesses would be called to give evidence in the matter.

Some counts in the amended charge against the Defendants read: “That you, Nwochie Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu and Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko community, Aniocha Norih Local Government Area of Delta between May 18 and 25, 2017 at ldumuie-Ugboko community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta, within the jurisdiction of this court, did conspire with others still at large to commit acts of terrorism.

“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.

“That you, Nwochie Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku of ldumuje-Ugboko community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta between May 18 and 25, 2017 at ldumuje-Ugboko community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta within the jurisdiction of this court, did commit an act of terrorism, in that you and others still at large participated in an attack on members of ldumuje-Ugboko community and killed one Cyprain Kumaorun.

“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(e) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.”