Nigeria

Delta North Killings: We Want To Be Tried In Asaba, Not Abuja, Accused Persons Say

Seven persons alleged to have been involved in the 2017 killing of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko community under Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State have challenged the decision of the Nigerian government to prosecute them in Abuja.

According to the charge filed by the Office of Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar, alleged that the defendants including Nwochie Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku had in May 2017 unleashed terror on the community by burning houses.

Delta State Map

The government also alleged that Cyprian Kumaorun was killed during the violence.

On November 2, 2020, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the amended three-count charge filed against them.

During the trial, the defence lawyers notified the court that they had applied to the case file to be transferred to Asaba, Delta State.

"We have a motion for transfer of the matter from Abuja to Asaba or any other jurisdiction that is within the axis.  We don't even mind if the case is transferred to Benin, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt or even Anambra," counsel to the first defendant, Agbo Madaki, a professor, submitted.

On his part, the prosecution counsel, Shuaibu Labaran, sought an adjournment to enable him to respond to the transfer request.

The Nigerian government had earlier prayed the court for an accelerated hearing of the case since it was terrorism-related.

It equally informed the court that a total of 14 witnesses would be called upon to give evidence in the matter.

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