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Murder of two brothers: Abia Correctional Services alerts court of suspect’s death

Haliru Nababa, Controller General, Nigerian Correctional Service

By Ijendu Iheaka

The Abia Correctional Services on Wednesday alerted Osisioma High Court III presided over by Justice Theddy Eruba of the reported death of one Amanna Temple at the Aba Custodial Centre.

Amanna Temple was undergoing trial with Chigozie Ikeokwu, Chukwuebuka Nnamani and Godwin Chimezie for allegedly killing two brothers on April 2, 2021 in their home in Aba.

Bright Osuagwu (9) and his brother Victory Osuagwu (7) were strangled to death in their Abayi Ogbuligba, Osisioma LGA, home when their parents, Chima and Ogechi, were away from the house.

The matter was scheduled to continue on Wednesday with prosecution witnesses’ testimonies but when Amanna Temple’s name was called, the Correctional Officer in charge said he was sick.

Following the sick report on Temple, Justice Eruba said that the matter could not go on in the absence of the second defendant at the point the matter had reached.

The Judge’s statement propelled the fourth defendant’s lawyer, Chidi Nwachukwu to explicitly say that the second defendant was dead and that the court should be alerted properly.

The Judge then asked the Correctional Services Officer if it was true that the suspect was dead, but he said it was not in his power to say that.

At this point, the Judge asked if the power authorizing him to take the other suspects to court did not tell him of the whereabouts of the second defendant.

The Correctional Services Officer then admitted being given a letter for the court which he had yet to release.

When he gave the letter to the Registrar of the Court, the Judge mandated her to read it to the hearing of the whole court.

The letter signed by one Igwe Sunday, an Assistant Correctional Services Officer outrightly said that Amanna Temple had died on Jan.5, 2023.

The service therefore requested the urgent authorization and processing of a Corona Inquest to ascertain cause of Temple’s death to enable the release of his body which is in the mortuary to his family for burial.

Eruba, following the letter’s information asked the lead Prosecution Counsel, Uloaku Nwogu whether she would ask for adjournment to verify the death report or go on with her witness in court.

Nwogu who was confused with deciding to release a police witness to go without testifying on Wednesday later asked for an adjournment to enable her verify the report of the letter.

Nwogu told the Judge on inquiry that the Prosecution still has three more witnesses to field in the case.

Chima Esom, the third defendant’s lawyer urged the court to ensure the matter is concluded quickly now that the issue of death had come into it.

The court therefore gave the Prosecution two more days to field their three witnesses and end their case.

The matter was later adjourned to 15th and 29th March for the Prosecution to field remaining witnesses and close their case.

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