ASABA/Nigeria: An Asaba High Court has sentenced two brothers, Charles Adumekwe 26 year, and Chika Adumekwe 28 years to six years imprisonment each with hard labour for conspiracy to commit murder.
In suit No. HOB/8c/2014 State vs. Charles Adumekwe and Chika Adumekwe, the brothers were initially arranged before High Court Obiaruku and later transferred and reassigned to the Chief Judge’s Court presided over by the Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro, for conspiracy to commit murder and murder punishable under sections 324 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta State, 2006 and 319(2] of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 21 Vol.1, Laws of Delta State, 2006. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the counts.
According to the 1st prosecution witness Anna Akume, her late son Osikighe Emmanuel called her on phone and complained that the 2nd accused person was troubling him at school (Delta State University, Abraka).
She testified that in that same month of July, 2012 the 2nd accused person called her phone threatening to deal with the victim, which made him lodged a report at Abraka Police Station on the 23rd July, 2012.
She said that she then placed a called from there to the accused person at the instance of the police inviting him to the Station but refused.
The 1st Prosecution Witness also averred that on 25th August, 2012 she got a message from 2nd accused person threatening that after 30 days and the son refused to return the handset he took, her son would face the school authority or police.
She also averred that on the 25th September she was informed that her son was dead in Abraka. While rushing to Abraka to confirm the information her phone received a text message which reads, “The beginning and the end of my son Chika.”
According to her, shortly thereafter another message came naming five persons responsible for her son’s death among whom were the two accused persons.
In a twenty page judgment, the presiding Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro held that having taking into consideration all the evidence before him, there was strong urge to infer conspiracy between 1st and 2nd accused persons in the conspiracy that led to the death of the victim, Osikighe Emmanuel.
Justice Umukoro dismissed the defence of the accused persons, describing it as
childish and laughable considering the weight of the evidence to the fact that the 1st accused admitted being a cultist, abandoned his undergraduate studies abruptly in September 2012 and relocated to Lagos while the 2nd accused did not denied sending text message to the deceased mother particularly that of the 25th August 2012 in which he gave a dead line of 30 days, and surprisingly, the 25th September 2012, exactly 30 days, the deceased died.
On count of murder, the Chief Judge discharged and acquitted the two accused persons, stating that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
He decried the prevalence of dysfunctional family unit in the society and propensity of youths to join secret cult groups instead of facing their studies which their parents paid for in higher institutions, stressing that this case caused the families self esteem, psychological frame and shame.
Hon. Ovie Agas thanked the labour leaders and assured them of Governor Okowa’s concern and feelings for the Staff of Delta Line as well as other workers in the pay-roll of the State Government
He gave an assurance that he would to communicate the outcome of the all important meeting to his Excellency, Governor Okowa.