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Ozubulu Worshippers Massacre: 4 Suspects Arraign In Court for Murder

From Ignatius Okpara

AWKA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – An Anambra State Magistrate Court sitting at Ozubulu, in Ekwusigo council Area of the State Thursday arraigned four persons suspected to be involved in the killing of worshippers at St. Philips Catholic Church Ozubulu some months ago.

AFRICAN EXAMINER recalled that no fewer than 13 worshipers were massacred, while over 22 others sustained various degrees of injuries, in the deadly attack which occurred on 6th of August 2017, during an early morning mass.

Those who were docked included, a 44 year old man identified as Great Chinedu Akpunonu, Vincent Ike (57), Chukwudi Ugwu (30) and Onyebuchi Mbanefo who is  46 year old, just as three other suspects were said to be at large.

The suspects were arraigned on 37 count charge bordering on conspiracy and murder.

Chief Aloysius Ikegwuonu, popularly known as (Bishop), a South- African based alleged drug lord, whose father was murdered in the attack, the Parish Priest of St Philip’s Catholic Church, Rev Fr. Jude Onwuaso and six others were invited as witnesses on the case.

The charges brought against the suspects read thus: “That you Great Chinedu Akpunonu, .M. Vincent Ike .M. Chukwudi Ugwu .M. others now at large on or about 6th day of August 2017 at St Philip Catholic Church Amakwa Ozubulu at about 0600hrs in the Ekwusigo Magisterial District did conspire to commit felony to wit: Murder.

“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 494 of the Criminal Code Cap 36 vol. II revised laws of Anambra state of Nigeria 1991.

“That you Great Chinedu Akpunonu ‘m’, Vincent Ike m’, Chukwudi Ugwu ‘m and others now at large on the same date, place, time and within the aforementioned magisterial District did unlawfully kill one Anthoni Ufondu ‘f’ by shooting her with a gun which caused her death. You thereby committed an offence punishable under’Section 274(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 36 vol. H revised paws of Anambra state of Nigeria 1991.

“That you Great Chinedu Akpunonu ‘m’, Vincent Ike ‘m’, Chukwudi Ugwu ‘m’ others now at large on the same date, place, time and within the aforementioned magisterial District did unlawfully kill one Anurika Obunadike ‘f’ by shooting her with a gun which caused her death. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 274(1) of the Crnal Code Cap 36 vol. H revised laws of Arian-144ra state of Nigeria 1991.”

Lawyer for the first defendant (Akunononu), Barrister Okechukwu Ikenna sought the leave of the court for medical treatment of his client who according to him, was “seriously ill”.

But the prosecuting counsel, B.A Onwuemekaghi opposed the application, insisting that such plea should come by writing and not oral.

Also, bail application for second, third and fourth defendants failed as the magistrate, C.O Ezenwanne refused the application.

The magistrate, who adjourned the case, had bound it over to High Court Nnewi for hearing.

Our Correspondent learnt that since the bloody attack, the people of the community are still living in fear.

 

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