… To prosecute 3 suspects
By AKEEB ALARAPE
Relief came the way of two pharmacists, Messrs Orji Osita and Maduakor Chukwunonso, who were arrested and detained in connection with the gruesome murder of Miss Cynthia Osokogu Udoka in Lagos by her Facebook friends. Also, two other suspects, Gideon Okechukwu and Ezeaka Chinonso were let off the hook yesterday based on the advice of the state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Yesterday, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo ordered the release of the two pharmacists, who had been in detention on the order of a Magistrate Court. In the DPP’s advice, dated November 1, Osita, Maduakor, Okechukwu and Chinonso were declared not culpable of the offences of murder, conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to commit felony to wit; stealing, preferred against them at the lower court.
However, the two young men at the centre of the murder, Messrs Okwumo Echezona Nwabufo and Ezike Ikechukwu Olisaeloka were found culpable of the offences of murder, conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to commit felony to wit; stealing.
Also, one Ezike Nonso Ifechukwu was equally found culpable of receiving stolen property contrary to Sections 326(1) (2) Laws of Lagos State. In a report signed by Mrs. M. B. Olaniyi, Director, Department of Public Prosecution, on behalf of the state’s Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr. Ade Ipaye, it stated that to establish offence of conspiracy, “the prosecution must establish that there was agreement between two or more persons to carry out the crimes or unlawful act.
“It is well settled that to secure a conviction on a charge of murder, the prosecution must prove that; the deceased had died, that the death of the deceased was caused by the accused, and that the act or omission of the accused which caused the death of the deceased was intentional with knowledge that death or grievous bodily harm was its probable consequence.
“In the light of the foregoing, this office shall prosecute Okwumo Echezona Nwabufo, Ezike Ikechukwu Olisaeloka for the offence of conspiracy to commit murder, murder, conspiracy to commit felony to wit stealing and stealing contrary to Section 231,221, 409 and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law, No. 11, Laws of Lagos State, 2011 respectively.”
The state said since a prima facie case had been established against the suspects, they would soon be arraigned before a state High Court for proper trial.