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FG Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Imo Monarch

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The Federal Government, on Tuesday, arraigned four suspected terrorists who allegedly kidnapped and killed the traditional ruler of Amanze Obowo Autonomous Community of Imo, Eze Basil Njoku before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) arraigned them before Justice Binta Nyako on five count amended charges.

The AGF through his counsel, David Kaswe, invoked Sections 174 of the 1999 Constitution and 105 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 to assume trial of the terrorism charges.

The four defendants, Jude Iheme, Chika Madukwe, Nwokorie Chidiebere Ejike, and Victor Nwajuiba Obumneke were accused of killing the monarch on December 17, 2022, while coming from the Federal Medical Center, Umuahia after kidnapping and collecting a ransom of N4 million cash from his family.

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In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/575/2024, the defendants alongside others said to be at large were said to have conspired to commit felony to wit, acts of terrorism contrary to Section 26 of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act 2022.

They were also said to have armed themselves with guns and offensive weapons, attacked, kidnapped, and killed the traditional ruler on December 17, 2022.

Government also accused them of failing to volunteer information at their disposal to security agencies which could have led to the apprehension of other kidnappers contrary to Section 16 of the same Terrorism Act.

When the charges were read to them before Justice Binta Nyako, they pleaded not guilty.

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Lead counsel to the defendants, Solomon Akume (SAN) had sought to move the bail application for his clients, it was however opposed by the prosecution counsel on the ground that he needed to react to some issues.

Justice Nyako fixed June 20 for the hearing of applications and commencement of trial.

The Judge ordered that the defendants be remanded at Kuje Correctional Center pending the hearing and determination of their respective bail applications.

Iheme, 52, of Amagwu Amanze Obowo local government area of Imo, and Madukwe, 42, of Ndi-Uche Etiti Onuimo local government area also of Imo, were said to have killed the traditional ruler on December 17, 2022.

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