From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Two persons, including a chief, allegedly involved in the abduction and murder of an 81-year-old paramount ruler, Eze Sunday Njoku of Umuebulu 1 Community in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, have been arraigned before a Port Harcourt Magistrate Court two years after the crime was committed.
The accused persons, Chief Chibuna Nwafor, 44, Bosim Felix Okpeke (aka Tolia), 29 years old, and others at large, were said to have kidnapped the victim on June 13, 2010, at Assemblies of God Church, Umuebulu 1, Etche, in the state. The accused persons were facing a four-count charge of conspiracy, kidnap, murder and extortion.
Count one reads: “That you Chief Chibuna Nwafor, Bosim Felix Okpeke (aka Tolia) and others now at large, on the 13th day of June, 2010, at Assemblies of God Church, Umuebulu, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: kidnapping and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516A (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Volume 11, Laws of Rivers State, 1999.
In count two, the accused persons on the same date and place were said to have been “armed with AK47 rifles and other dangerous weapons and with intent to demand ransom, did kidnap one HRH Eze Sunday Njoku, paramount ruler of Umuebulu 1 Community, Etche Local Government Area aged 81 years old and unlawfully imprisoned him in such a manner as to prevent his relations or any person entitled to have access to him from discovering the place where he was imprisoned and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(A) of the Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) Laws of 2009.”
The accused persons in count three were charged for being “armed with AK47 and other dangerous weapons and unlawfully killed one HRH Eze Sunday Njoku and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Volume 11, Laws of Rivers State, 1999.”
In count four, they were accused of demanding “with menaces the sum of N100 million from one Dan Njoku, son of HRH Eze Sunday Njoku, while he was in your custody, with threat of not releasing him if the demand is not complied with and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 406 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Volume 11, Laws of Rivers State, 1999.”
After the charges were read to the accused persons, the Chief Magistrate, F. N. Amanze, of Court 3, ordered that they should be remanded in the prison custody and directed their case files to the Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice. The matter was adjourned till January 25, 2013.