Court Remands Coordinator For Murder


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By Nwogha Ndubuisi Andy

 

Following the case of alleged murder of 30-year-old Enyinnaya Ibiam, during the recent Councillorship Election, the Magistrate Court, sitting in Abakaliki, the state capital, on Thursday 5th March, 2020, remanded in prison custody, Ubeyi Development Center Coordinator, Hon. Uchenna Ibiam on alleged involvement in murder and cultism.

The suspect, who was the Coordinator of Ubeyi Development Centre in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, was also accused of unlawful possession of firearms, among others.

He was equally alleged to belong to a secret cult group known as Ayes Confraternity.

It was gathered that he allegedly shot dead, one Enyinnaya Ibiam, during a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Councillorship’s primary election in the council area.

Recall that Engr. David Umahi ordered the arrest and sack of the accused person, over his alleged involvement in the incident, which led to the killing of late Enyinnaya Ibiam.

It was alleged that he committed the offence at Unwana community, in the Afikpo North Council area of the state, on February 26, 2020.

The suspect was arraigned before the Magistrate’s Court on eleven counts bothering on murder, felony, attempted murder, cultism, illegal possession of firearms, among others.

The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Chinedu Mbam told the court that the offences were punishable under section 324/516A (a), 319 (1), 320 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Cool. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2009 and sections 27 (1) b (ii) of the firearms Act, Cap. F28, Vol. 7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004; and section 3 (1), (3) and 4 (1) of Ebonyi State Law prohibiting secret cult activities and carrying of offensive weapons Cap. 12, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

The charge read in part, “That you Uchenna Ibiam ‘m’ and others now at large on the 26th day of February 2020, at Unwana, Afikpo North, in the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of firearm, cultism and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 324/516A (a) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

“That you Uchenna Ibiam ‘m’ and others now at large on the same date, time and place, and in the aforementioned Magisterial District did murder one Enyinnaya Ibiam ‘M’ and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”

“That you Uchenna Ibiam ‘M’ and others now at large on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned Magisterial District, did attempt to murder one Ogechi Nnam Enya ‘f’ by firing her with gun on her body and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 320 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”

“That you Uchenna Ibiam ‘M’ and others now at large on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned Magisterial District did have in your possession or under your control one locally made double barrel gun without license and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 27 (1), (b)(I) of the firearms Act, Cap. F28, Vol. 7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, as applicable in Ebonyi State. “

“That you Uchenna Ibiam ‘M’ and others now at large on the same date, time and place, and in the aforementioned Magisterial District, did belong to a secret cult group known as, “Ayes Confraternity,” and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 5 of Ebonyi State Law prohibiting secret cult activities and carrying of offensive weapon in Ebonyi State, Cap. 12, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”

The Defence Counsel, led by Barr B.J. Anyim, applied to the court for his client to be admitted to bail.

But the Police Prosecuting Counsel, led by Inspector Mbam, opposed the bail application on the ground that the offence was a capital offence and could not be adjudicated on, by the Magistrate’s Court.

The Chief Magistrate, B.I. Chukwu, stressed that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Mrs. Chukwu directed that the accused person be remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, and his case file transferred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, for necessary legal advice.

The matter was adjourned till March 16, 2020, for report of compliance.

 


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