From David Eze, Abakaliki
A Magistrate Court in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state has remanded 55 persons for murder, arson and destruction of property worth millions of Naira.
The defendants, it was alleged, were responsible for killings, destruction of buildings and illegal possession of firearms, that took place during the crises that erupted between the people of Effium and Ezza Effium, in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state, recently.
Recall that the people of Effium and Ezza Effium community, in the Ohaukwu Council area of the state, had recently been enmeshed in intra-communal war that led to the killings of over 40 persons and destruction of property and other valuables worth millions of Naira. It was gathered that the defendants committed the offence in Ezza Effium in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state, on January 22, 2021.
They were arraigned before the Magistrate Court, Wednesday, on seven counts charges bothering on felony, murder, arson, encouraging communal war, unlawful possession of firearms, among others by the state Police command.
The Police Prosecutor, ASP Mathias Eze, told the court that the offences were punishable under sections 516A (a), 42, 319(1), 443 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009 and section 3 of the Robbery and Firearms Act, Cap R, 11, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004, as amended.
The defendants were not represented in court and, therefore, no bail application was made on their behalf.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Nnenna Onuoha, ordered that the defendants be remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, while their case file should be transferred to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, for necessary legal advice. Mrs. Onuoha adjourned the matter to February 19, 2021, for a report of compliance.