Ex-UNIZIK student docked for murder
.Case adjourned till June 23
From NWABUEZE OKONKWO, Onitsha
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Photo: Sun News Publishing
An Ogidi High Court III, presided over by Justice Onochie Anyachebelu, has adjourned further hearing till June
23 and 29, in a murder charge preferred against a former
student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Peter
Ofafor.He is standing trial over the murder of a 29-year
old man,Charles Maduanusi.In his remarks shortly after the first Prosecution Witness (PWI), Chief Emmanuel Maduanusi, father of the deceased, testified before the court, Justice Anayachebelu ordered both parties to ensure speedy trial of the case since the incident took place between late 2007 and early 2008.The prosecution had alleged that the accused had on December 30, 2007, conspired with four others (at large) to
kidnap Maduanusi, who later died on January 9, 2008, as a result of suffocation.
The offence, according to the prosecution, is contrary to Section 274(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 36, Vol.11, revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991. Ikebudu appeared for the accused person while Mrs. S.A.M Offorkansi, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ogidi in Idemili Judicial Division and Mrs. Stella Nwanegbo, a Senior State Counsel appeared for the complainant.Maduanusi told the court that the accused and others (at large) on December 30, 2007, lured his late son through a telephone call to come to somewhere at Awada, near Onitsha, to collect the N30,000, being debt owed him by one of the accused persons at large. He further told the court that when his late son went to Awada to collect the money, the accused persons abducted,tied him with ropes and forced him inside the booth of their waiting vehicle and drove away to an unknown destination,where he said he suspected they wanted to use himfor ritual.
Also during cross-examination by counsel to the accused person,Maduanusi testified that it was while the accused were taking his late son to the unknown destination at about 2.00 am
that their vehicle broke down along the Umunya axis of Onitsha/Awka on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway. He added that as they were battling to repair the vehicle, a group of vigilance
men swooped on them while they abandoned the vehicle and fled.He said the injured victim was picked up with the ropes tied all over his body and mouth.
He said during the encounter, the accused persons removed the Sim card in his son’s handset and inserted theirs in his own handset and used it to communicate with each other.He stated that when the vigilance operatives found the victim and contacted the Federal Highway police patrol team
before handing him over to their family members, one of the accused persons, believed to be their gang leader, called the line.And when the call was answered, the gang leader sighed in utter disappointment and muttered: “Oh, so these boys have flopped this operation” and switched off the
phone immediately without calling the line again.
He disclosed that the relations came to identify the accused persons as the kidnappers of his late son because as they were escaping, some of their items such as international passport,
photographs, among others, were recovered from the bush. He disclosed that the victim died on June 9, after identifying some of the suspects and narrating his ordeal in the hands of his kidnappers.