Court remands three for alleged murder in Rivers

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PORT HARCOURT: A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has remanded three persons to the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre over their alleged involvement in the murder of one Chidi Onwukwe.

Mr. Chidi was in January murdered in cold-blood at his home in Elelenwo area of Port Harcourt.

The killers of Chidi had made away with his car phones and other valuables and a certain amount of cash allegedly transferred from his account.

Following the development Samuel Onwukwe, Andrew Epai Otanye, Samuel Emmason, Promise George and Blessed Onyekachi Nathan were arrested and charged to court by the Commissioner of Police in the state in suit number PHC/667/CR/2022.

The police had prior to moving the court granted administrative bail to three of the defendants in the matter.

When the matter came to court on the 2nd of March, four of the suspects were charged while of the persons mentioned in the case was excluded.

Progress on the murder trial had been stalled on several sitting, causing the trial judge to on the last adjourned date ordered counsel for the defendants then, Jane Okpamen, to serve hearing notice of the parties involved.

However, when the matter resumed yesterday, the Prosecution Counsel, Essien Edet, told the court that the prosecution would really on the amended charge filed on the 13th of July, 2022, in prosecuting the murder case.

The new charge had Samuel Onwukwe (1st Defendant) Promsie George (2nd Defendant) and Blessed Onyekachi Nathan (3rd Defendant), while the other two persons earlier mentioned in the case have been expunged.

Edet, the prosecutor, had told the court that the court decided to amend the charge to enable the case progress, adding that the fourth defendants were nowhere to be found.

The police prosecutor said the inability to get the third person led to the amendment of the suit to exclude thee suspects at large.

“The prosecution has an amended charge which was filed on the 13th Day, July 2022 to substitute the charge filed earlier on the 2nd March.”

However, when the four counts preferred on the suspects bothering on conspiracy to armed robbery, illegal possession of arm, felony to wit and murder Chidi Onwukwe, were read them in court, the suspects pleaded not guilty.

After the charges were read, Edet, prayed the court that in view of the plea, that the suspects be remanded at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre while the matter commences.

Upon the prayer for remand, BF John-Williams, counsel for the three defendants, made and oral bail application.

Meanwhile, the trial Judge, Justice Sylvester Popnen, declined the oral bail application, adding such could not stand considering the nature of the offence.

Popnen adjourned till 15th, 16th of December 2022, and 27th of January for trial, pending any application for their bail.

Meantime, ID Wariboko, put up appearance as holding the brief of Prof. Amuda-Kannike, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

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