Delta North Killings: Alleged terrorists beg Court not to prosecute them in Abuja
December 4, 2020 7:01 am
Seven persons alleged to have been involved in the 2017 killing of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko Community of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, on Thursday, challenged the decision of the Federal Government to prosecute them in Abuja.
The Federal Government in the charge that was filed by the office of Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, alleged that the defendants- Nwochie Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku – had in May 2017, conspired with others to unleash terror on the community by burning houses and killing one Cyprian Kumaorun within the community.
The FG had filed a three-count amended criminal charge against them, to which the defendants had on November 2, pleaded not guilty to, as trial Justice Okon Abang fixed the matter for hearing.
Counsel for the defence at the resumed proceedings on Thursday, notified the court that they have filed an application for the case-file to be transferred to Asaba, Delta State. Prof Agbo Madaki, counsel to the 1st defendant said “we have a motion for transfer of the matter from Abuja to Asaba or any other jurisdiction that is within the axis.
“We don’t even mind if the case is transferred to Benin, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt or even Anambra”, he added. Meanwhile, the Prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, sought an adjournment to enable him to respond to the transfer request dated December 1.
Consequently, Justice Abang deferred hearing of the Defendants’ application till Friday. He said the commencement of trial in this matter will depend on the outcome of the application”. The federal government has hoped for an accelerated hearing by the Court, since the nature of the case was related to terrorism. It equally informed the court that a total of 14 witnesses would be called to give evidence in the matter.