By Simeon OSAJIE
The case involving Chief Johnson Atsetuleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri and 8 Others for the alleged conspiracy, kidnapping and murder of Sunny Etchie, the Okaeghele of Kolokolo Community, in Ologbo Dukedom, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Edo State, Nigeria has been adjourned to 4th and 11th March, 2022 for continuation of hearing.
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.
At today sitting (10/02/2022), the State Counsel Mrs. Osasu Ewemade and Barr. O. T. Okeke, counsel to 1st Defendant Oluwa Esimijie addressed the court on whether to admit Exhibit T1 which is the confessional statement made by the 1st Defendant during the main trial when the prosecution sought to tender that statement.
The Defense Counsel objected to it that it was not made voluntarily that resulted to trial within trial and that statement is voluntary because it is confession in nature which is Exhibit T1.
While the exhibit T2 was another statement which was not subject of trial within trial but was tendered by the prosecution counsel, same statement was also for the 1st Defendant.
The two Statements are before the court and trial has begun, address has been adopted and the presiding judge, Justice Mary Ituseli have reserve the ruling of the court whether or not to admit the statements in question.
Justice Mary Ituseli, the presifibg judge thereafter adjourned the case to 4th and 11th March, 2022 for continuity of hearing.
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.