BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, PORT HARCOURT
Five years after, a Port Harcourt High Court presided over by Justice Letam Nyordee yesterday sentenced ex-Sergeant Lucky Orji, and two others, Ikechukwu Louis Amadi a.k.a. Capoon and David Chinasa Ogbada, to death for the murder of four undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt.
LEADERSHIP recalls that four UNIPORT undergraduates;Lloyd Toku Mike, Ugonna Obuzor, Tekena Elkanah and Chiadaka Biringa, were murdered on October 5, 2012 at Umuokiri-Aluu community in Ikwerre local government area of Rivers State.
The judge also discharged and acquitted four out of the seven accused persons- Àbiodun Yusuf, Joshua Ikpe, Cyril Abang and John Ayu, who were standing trial in the murder case.
Delivering the judgement, which lasted for over two hours, Nyordee said the death sentence was in pursuant to section 319 of the Criminal Code Laws of Rivers State.
He stated that the prosecution failed to prove a case of involvement in the murder of the victims by the four discharged and acquitted persons through out the trial.
The judge also held that the case of murder against the three convicted persons were overwhelming, saying, “I am therefore satisfied that their roles in the killing of the victims is unjustifiable and unlawful. Their actions are intended to kill the victims.”
Nyordee stated that throughout the trial, nobody presented themselves as victims of robbery by the four boys, adding that it was a mob action.
He also struck out the objections raised by the defense counsels that the prosecution raised fresh issues in his final address, pointing out that the burden of proof as rightly raised by the defense counsels rested on the prosecution, which included facts and cause of death, which is unlawful and attributed to the defendants.
Also, on determining the issues raised as proof of evidence, the judge further held that the offence of murder is self evident, pursuant to section 316 of the Evident Act.
Nyordee also held that the prosecution did not bring any eyewitness to the actual killing of the boys, except for the video and confessional statements obtained during investigation, by the PW1, which was admitted in court as evidence and which corroborates the findings of the Coroner test conducted by Dr Seleye Fubara, a Pathologist.