By Simeon OSAJIE
The legal battle to unravel the killers of Sunny Etchie, the Okaeghele of Kolokolo Community, in Ologbo Dukedom, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Edo State, Nigeria has been adjourned to 11th February, 2022.
Chief Johnson Atselege, the Iyasere of Warri and 8 Others are currently being arraigned in the Edo State High Court Court 4 (Criminal Division) for alleged conspiracy, kidnapping and murder of Sunny Etchie, the Okaeghele of Kolokolo Community in Ologbo Dukedom.
Before today, the statement of the 1st Defendant Oluwa Esimijie which reflect the trial and the voluntariness or the involuntariness of that statement made by the 1st Defendant and the trial within trial was ordered and the Defense Counsel open their case and the Prosecuting Counsel also open their case respectively.
On that trial within trial, the statement of the 1st Defendant has been the subject whether it was taken voluntarily or involuntarily. The evidences of the trial within trial have been concluded today. And on that note, the case has been adjourned to the 11th February, 2022 for both counsels to address the court on the stage of trial within trial before the ruling whether the statement should be admitted in evidence or not.
Meanwhile, at today’s trail, the State Counsel Mrs. Osasu Ewemade cross-examined the 1st Defendant, Oluwa Esimijie.
Chief Johnson Atselege and 11 Others are currently being arraigned for alleged conspiracy, and murder of Mr. Sunny Etchie, the Okaighele of Kolokolo Community in Ologbo Dukedom, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, Edo State.
All the 8 Accused Persons including, The Iyatsere of Warri, Chief Johnson Atseleghe, Felicia Otikpere, female – 55; Oluwa Esimije – 38; Monday Iluwa – 58; Ayokotse Robinson – 54; Nosa Omoregie – 54; Mofe Samuel – 40; Magnanimous Omawumi – 40; Ayuwa Mofe – 65, Amerete Ejiro – 25, Onyeburutan Jeffrey – 25 and Benjamin Erewa – 39 were in Court.
The Defendants’ offence contravened Sections 516, 327 and 316 (1) punishable under Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 2 (2) punishable under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Prohibition (Amendment) Law, 2013 of Edo State.
In her ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Mary Ituseli adjourned the case to 11th of February 2022 for further hearing.