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Onitsha murder; journalist testifies

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By Phil Okose Onitsha

As accelerated hearing continues in a case of murder prefered against four defendants in a case of murder of one late Akachukwu Ezebuilo in
Onitsha, Anambra state, a journalist, Okey Maduforo, Tuesday mounted the witness box and testified.

Testifying, in the High court presided over by Justice S.N. Odili, the journalist told the court that they were briefed by protesting tricycle operators in company of the first defendant, Wilfred Ezike,
(a.k.a. Mgbiligba) in Awka, the state capital.

He said that later the police invited him where he made statement with respect to his publication.

The four who were charged for the murder of Akachukwu Ezebuilo, included, Wilfred Ezika, (a.k.a. Mgbiligba), Chisom Amakaeze, Sunday Emenike and Paul Egwuonwu.

Grilling the journalist, counsel to the defendants, Barr. G.B. Obi called for intensive investigation of the journalist to avoid impersonation.

In response, the counsel to the plaintiffs, Barr. K.K. Oguejiofor, disagreed with the defendants’ counsel stating that such investigation would consume a lot of time insisting that the witness was a genuine
journalist who has earlier Identified himself to the court.

 Recall that the first defendant, Ezika, earlier completed his evidence in chief thereby giving way for others to testify.

Recall that two persons, Soluchukwu Nwokoye, a tricycle operator in Onitsha and Barr. Emeka Nweze, based in Awka, Anambra state capital, had earlier mounted the witness box and  testified.

The  late Akachukwu Ezebuilo, was said to have been murdered on 10th September 2018 in Onitsha.

When Nwokoye was grilled in the witness box, by both the plaintiff and defendant counsels, barristers G.B. Obi and K.K. Oguejiofor respectively, he told the court that on the date of the murder that they (tricycle operators, embarked on protest to some police stations in Onitsha and then proceeded to Government House and Secretariat all in Awka.

When the plaintiff counsel, Obi, put it to Nwokoye that they (tricycle operators) neither had protest on the fateful day nor went to Government House and Secretariate as claimed to protest to the Commissioner for Transport, Nwokoye insisted that they protested both in Awka and Onitsha.

Also while in the witness box, Barr. Emeka Nweze, when asked by the Plaintiff counsel, Barr. Obi, at what time the first defendant was with him in his Awka office on the fateful day he said it was between 10am to 12pm.

Recall that the court had earlier discharged and acquitted two persons, Chibuike Onwuka and Chiemerie Ezema, out of six charged with the murder earlier when the defendants’ counsels presented a ‘No case submission’ which was ruled upon and the two freed while the rest four are the
ones being tried presently.

On freeing the two, Justice Odili said that there was no prima facie held against the two freed going by the evidence of the prosecution and ordered for accelerated hearing on the four others.

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