Court sentences policeman, two others to death over Aluu killings
The Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday sentenced to death a police sergeant, Lucky Orji, and two others, David Chinasa Ogbada and Ikechukwu Louis Amadi, (aka Kapoon) for their involvement in the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt.
The court presided over by Justice Letam Nyordee also discharged and acquitted four others, Saviour Johnny, Abiodun Yusuf, Joshua Ekpe and Cyril Abang.
Four students of UNIPORT, Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Tekena Elkannah and Chiadika Biringa were brutally murdered by a mob at Aluu community in Ikwerre Local council of the state on October 5, 2012 over an alleged involvement in armed robbery in the community.
Justice Nyordee said the prosecution counsel was able to prove the involvement of the three persons through video evidence presented to the court.
The judge held that the evidence given against the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants in the matter were overwhelming, adding that their statements in the murder was confirmed in the video evidence that they actively took part in the killing.
Twelve suspects were earlier arraigned before the court over the murder case and based on a report from the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, I. Otorubio, five of the suspects including the traditional ruler of Umuokiri, Alhaji Hassan Welewa were discharged and acquitted in January this year.
Seven of the suspects, Saviour Johnny, Lucky Orji, Ikechukwu Louis Amadi, David Chinasa Ogbada, Abiodun Yusuf, Joshua Ekpe and Cyril Abang were denied bail.
The judge ruled that the statement of the 4th, 5th 6th and 7th defendants justified their position that they were not involved in the murder, adding that it was corroborated by the video evidence of the prosecution counsel which only captured the presence of the suspects at the scene of the incidence.
The trial judge said that the role played by the three convicted persons in the murder were unjustifiable, adding that their actions were intended to terminate the lives of the victims, stressing that 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants were guilty of murder.
Citing Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999, Nyordee sentenced the three to death for taking the lives of other persons unjustifiably.
The judge maintained that the death of the four students was the most condemnable and cannot be justified, adding that the victims had great hope and future for their families.
Nyordee frowned at the security operatives for failing to live up to their responsibilities, regretting that the security personnel at the scene of the crime failed to save the situation and described the act as the sorry state of the society.
He said no explanation would ever be valid on why the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), the Aluu Police Post, Isiopko Divisional Police Headquarters and C4I security outfit, which were beckoned and were present, could not mobilize to rescue the victims whose allegation of robbery could not be proven during the unlawful trial.
The trial judge said the decision of the court would serve as a deterrent to those who take human life without recourse, adding that human life should be protected.