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Suspects in Rivers’ murder trial take plea September 29

By Obinna Nwaoku, Port Harcourt
11 August 2022   |   2:39 am
A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt will on September 29, take the plea of four men linked with the robbery and murder of one Chidi Onwukwe, in Elelenwo

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt will on September 29, take the plea of four men linked with the robbery and murder of one Chidi Onwukwe, in Elelenwo, Port Harcourt, the state capital.

      
Trial judge, Sylvester Popnen, fixed the date following the absence of the prosecutor and the suspects.
  
The suspects, according to the charge sheet marked: PHC/667/CR/2022 and filed by the police are Samuel Onwukwe, 49 (1st defendant); Andrew Epai Otanye, 27 (2nd defendant); Samuel Emmason, 26 (3rd defendant) and Promise George, 30 (4th defendant).
 
On the last adjourned date, July 16, proceedings were stalled following the absence of counsel for three suspects, while the prosecuting counsel, Essien Edet, sought to amend the charge against the defendants.
  
The court adjourned till July 28, to give the suspects time to get legal representatives so the court could take the suspects’ plea.
    
When proceedings resumed yesterday, the prosecutor and three suspects were unavailable. But the third defendant, Blessed Onyekachi, who is on administrative bail, was present in court.
  
Counsel to the second defendant, Jane Okpamen, informed the court that the prosecutor was not in town.
     
She said: “The prosecutor called me and said that he went to Akwa Ibom and asked me to take a date after the vacation.”
 
Okpamen said the second defendant was at the police station waiting for the police to bring him to court.
   
She prayed the court to strike out the matter until the prosecutor was ready to proceed with the matter.
 
But declining her application, Justice Popnen adjourned to September 29 for the defendants to take their plea.