Friday, March 1, 2013

Seven suspects released in lynching case of university students

A Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate, Mr. Emma Woke, Rivers State, has discharged seven out of the 18 suspects, arrested in connection with the killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt on October 5, last year at Omuokiri- Aluu, Rivers State.

Magistrate Woke, who discharged them after reading an advice from the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, yesterday, said the seven suspects were arrested by the police on grounds of mere suspicion. According to the DPP, no case of murder was established against them.

The court said the seven were released based on the advice of the DPP. He read out the advice before discharging the seven. According to the advice, the seven suspects were charged to court based on mere suspicion.

The seven are Cynthia Chinwo, George Nwadei, Ekpe Daniel, Gabriel Ochie, Endurance Edet, Lucky Agwurum and Finebone Jeffrey, aka Soso

The DPP, in the advice, said: "It is a trite law that suspicion, no matter how strong, cannot take the place of legal proof without concrete evidence to substantiate it, and as such, they were victims of circumstance and, therefore, charging and prosecuting them will be an exercise in futility."

The DPP also advised that charges against seven others, who were not charged to court but arrested by the Police, be dropped because no charge of murder was established against them, adding that the police should arrest five others on the run.

The advice further read: "The charge against them should equally be dropped and they should be released forthwith from custody."

Meantime, the Paramount Ruler of Omuokiri-Aluu community, Alhaji Hassan Walewa and 10 others, are to face a fresh charge for failing to prevent a felony. According to the DPP, no charge of murder was established against them.

"Your original case file will be retained to enable us file information with proof of evidence for the avoidance of doubt, against Lawal Segun, ex-Sergeant Lucky Orji, Ikechukwu Louis Amadi, aka Kapoon, David Chinasa Ogbada, Abiodun Yusuf, Joshua Ekpe, Abang Cyril, Alhaji Hassan Welewa, Okoghiroh Endurance, Ozioma Abajuo and Chigozie Evans Samuel in the state High Court."

It will be recalled that four students of University of Port Harcourt, Tekena Elkanah, Lloyd Toku Mike, Chiadika Biringa and Ugonna Obuzor, were mobbed to death on October 5, last year before a cheering crowd at Omuokiri-Aluu.

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