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Priest, six others remanded in prison over murder of Enugu monarch


Seven persons including a Methodist priest have been arraigned and remanded in prison in connection with the killing of the traditional ruler of Ogbozinne community, Nkanu West council, Enugu state, Igwe Stephen Nwatu. Igwe Nwatu was mobbed to death on June 11, this year, following a crisis that erupted in the community few years ago.

Those now remanded in prison include Parish Priest of Methodist Church, Ogbozinne, Rev Kenneth Okafor, Lawrence Nnajiofor and Chinedu Nwodo. Others are Uchenna Edeh, Joseph Okenwa, Leonard Nnam and Nnemba Comfort Okenwa.

But a curious development was noticed on the charge sheets brought by the police used in the arraignment of the suspects yesterday as the two charge sheets conflicted with each other on where the Monarch was murdered. Whereas the charge sheet used to arraign Uchenna, Joseph, Leonard and Nnemba at the Enugu East Magistrate court accused them of killing the Monarch at “Ogbozinne junction, Amodu in Nkanu West;” the second charge sheet used to arraign Rev Okafor, Lawrence Nnajiofor and Chinedu Nwodo accused them of murdering the Monarch “at Obinagu Ndiuno Akpugo.”

In the two separate charge sheets obtained by The Guardian, the first batch of four suspects were charged on two count charges of murder and unlawful killing, but the latest batch of 3 suspects including a Methodist Priest and the late Monarch’s younger brother were arraigned on four count charges including armed robbery and possession of firearms.

They were accused of “stabbing the Monarch with weapons”, thereby committed an offence punishable under section 274 of the criminal code cap 30 revised laws of Enugu state Nigeria 2004.”Presiding Magistrate, Chika Ugwu, who remanded the seven suspects said they would remain in detention until the opinion of the Department for Public Prosecution (DPP) was got.

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Igwe Stephen Nwatu
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