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Symbol of Justice

Judge hails woman for testifying in children’s murder case; Reporter alleges intimidation

Symbol of Justice

Aba (Abia) May 12, 2022

Justice Teddy Eruba of Osisioma High Court III on Thursday commended Mrs Ogechi Chima-Osuagwu, for her courage to testify in the case of her two children murdered in Aba on April 2, 2021.

Eruba is the judge hearing the case of the murder of two of Chima-Osuagwu’s children, Bright (9), and Victory (7) at their home, No 32 Osuga Street, Abayi Ogbuligba, Osisioma LGA, Abia.

The children were allegedly murdered in their home on April 2, 2021, by four accused persons, Chigozie Ikeokwu, Amanna Temple, Chukwuebuka Nnamani, and Godwin Chimezie.

“We are very sorry for what happened to you and your husband. We assure you that we will do our best to do justice to the matter as it is within our powers, and within the confines of what is presented to this court.

“But I want to tell you to speak to God about your matter because it is only God that can guarantee true justice,” he said.

Mrs Chima-Osuagwu, who is a trader, said she did not know the first and second accused persons, Chigozie Ikokwu and Amanna Temple allegedly being parties to the murder of her children.

She, under cross-examination, said she saw them first during the last adjourned date on the matter when she came to testify but was not called up.

The witness said that when she returned from the market on that fateful day, she met her only neighbour in the building, Mrs Ifeoma Ethelbert, and her children in the building.

Following questions from a defence lawyer, she said that she told the police that investigated the matter about it.

She said her building was surrounded by bushes, hence nobody would know what was happening inside it if the person did not enter the compound.

Chima-Osuagwu also said that no specific person told her that the first and second accused killed her two children, but that it was their confession that brought them in on the matter.

After the matter ended, the third defendant’s lawyer, Casmir Esom, who had earlier left, returned to address the court, complaining of the presence of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reporter covering the matter.

Esom accused the NAN reporter of being from a known Radio Station in Aba and of writing that the accused would soon be convicted.

However, Justice Eruba informed the lawyer that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not bar a journalist from appearing in court and reporting cases.

Eruba counseled Esom to produce evidence of what the reporter had written which he claimed was subjudice, if he had such, adding that it was only such a report that the court could consider.

The NAN Correspondent, Ijendu Iheaka, alleged that on three occasions since March 2022, relatives of the accused persons, Correctional Service personnel and two of their lawyers had been harassing and intimidating him for reporting the matter.

The matter was adjourned until May 25, for the continuation of trial.

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