Get Latest Tori News Alert!
Enter your email below.

Delivered by FeedBurner





Hot Stories
Recent Stories

Four Arraigned Over Alleged Kidnap, Murder Of Anambra Monarch

Posted by Amarachi on Mon 20th May, 2024 - tori.ng

Nnaji was reportedly kidnapped on November 15, 2021, when some hoodlums invaded his palace, set the premises ablaze, burnt about four vehicles and whisked the monarch away and his whereabouts have remained unknown to date.

Igwe Oliver Nnaji

Igwe Oliver Nnaji

Four suspects have been arraigned before an Onitsha High Court Number 1 sitting in Onitsha, Anambra State in connection with the alleged abduction and murder of Igwe Oliver Nnaji, the traditional ruler of Igwe Ogwuaniocha community in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The four accused persons are Onyebuchi Ibenegbu, Chinefu Collins Nwonawi, Okwudili Ogana and Emeka Udom.

Nnaji was reportedly kidnapped on November 15, 2021, when some hoodlums invaded his palace, set the premises ablaze, burnt about four vehicles and whisked the monarch away and his whereabouts have remained unknown to date.

In the charge No. 0/32C/2022, state versus the accused persons, according to C.C. Madukife, an Assistant Director in Anambra State Ministry of Justice, the accused persons, had on November 15, 2021, at Ogwuaniocha community in Onitsha Judicial Division, allegedly conspired among themselves to commit felony to wit: Arson, kidnap and murder.

In the charge sheet obtained on Monday, the prosecution further alleged that the accused persons had on the same date and venue while armed with guns, machetes and other offensive weapons, unlawfully set ablaze the dwelling house, other buildings and four cars belonging to one Igwe Oliver Nnaji.

The offences were contrary to Sections 495 (a), 315 (1) (a), 474, 274 (1) and 416 of the Criminal Code, Cap 36, Volume II, Revised Laws of Anambra state of Nigeria, 1991.

Seven accused persons were earlier arraigned by the police in the kidnap and murder of the traditional ruler, but the court had earlier discharged three persons.

Those discharged were Nduba Chibuzor, Ifi Silas Nwabuwa and Osadebe Sunday.

Discharging the three accused persons, the presiding judge, Justice Nweze noted that there was no substantial evidence to prove that they were among those who conspired to abduct Igwe Nnaji and as such “continue to try them would amount to a breach of their fundamental human rights”.

But in a swift reaction, the complainants, through their legal counsel, Chief Ikenna Egbuna, SAN headed to the Court of Appeal sitting in Awka and filed a notice of appeal challenging the discharge of the three respondents.

In the appeal, the appellants argued that the lower court misdirected itself in law when it upheld the submission of no case-to-answer made on behalf of the defendants/respondents.

The appellants mentioned the particulars of the misdirection concerning the evidence of the first Prosecution Witness, PW1, Mrs Ngozi Freda Nnaji who was cross-examined by the defence counsel, Oseloka Osuigwe, SAN, during which she stated that the accused persons were actually among those that allegedly invaded Igwe Nnaji palace, set it ablaze and abducted the monarch.

According to the notice of appeal, a look at Exhibit P1 showed that the PW1, Ngozi Freda Nnaji had listed the defendants so discharged by the court on a submission of no case to answer as some of the people she saw on the day of the incident of November 15, 2021, who invaded the royal family house, set it ablaze and also abducted her husband.

According to the notice of appeal, “On June 20, 2023, the Investigating Police Officer, who gave evidence as PW4 tendered without objection the statements of the respondents who were the 4th, 6th and 7th defendants at the trial as Exhibits 8 (a) and (b). The police investigations report was also admitted as exhibit P10.

“The police investigations report also showed that Dane guns, swords and charms were recovered from the defendants as exhibits P12 to 15. A look at exhibit 8, the statement of Nduba Chibuzor volunteered to the police on March 22, 2022. Exhibit 8 (a) the statement of Ifi Silas Nwabuwa made to the police on April 9, 2022, in which he admitted that charms and daggers were recovered from him and exhibit 8 (b) the statement of Osadebe Sunday made to the police on the same date showed that the respondents admitted that they are members of the ‘Lion Squad’ who committed the crime. The defendants are standing trial for playing various roles before and after the commission of the offence.

“The police investigations report exhibit P10 also showed that the respondents were involved in the commission of the crime.”

Further hearing on the matter comes up on May 22, 2024.



Top Stories
Popular Stories


Stories from this Category
Recent Stories