Five years after four students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) were burnt to death in Aluu community, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, justice has at last been served on the victims as a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Monday sentenced to death four of the accused people.
To die by hanging over the murder of four students are an ex-Police Sergeant, Lucky Orji, and two others, Ikechukwu Louis Amadi and David Chinasa Ogbada.
The court, however, discharged and acquitted four other persons, Abiodun Yusuf, Joshua Ikpe, Abang Cyril and John Ayuwu, who were jointly sued with the convicts in the eight-count charge of conspiracy, felony and murder.
It would be recalled that four students of UNIPORT, Ugonna Obuzor (19), Tekena Elkanah (23), Lloyd Tokwu Mike (22), and Chiadika Biringa (23), were killed at Umokiri Aluu, a university community on October 5, 2012 for allegedly stealing mobile phones and a laptop.
Delivering his judgment, which lasted over two hours, the presiding judge, Justice Nyordee, said the confessional statement by the convicted persons, Lucky, Ikechukwu and David, aligned with the video evidence played in the court, which showed how they all played roles in the murder of the four students, stressing that their offence was of capital nature and therefore they were liable to death sentence.
On the discharged and acquitted persons, Abiodun, Joshua, Cyril and John, Justice Nyordee said although during the trial, the defendants gave evidence which contradicted their confessional statements, the prosecution could not prove their direct involvement in the crime.
Justice Nyordee stressed: “The death of the victims is most condemnable”, even as he lamented the circumstances that led to the students’ death at the early hours of the day, stressing that the victims did not consider the insecurity situation in the area before going out to demand for their money at a very late hour from one Bright, still at large, who raised the alarm that led to their death.
The judge lamented that C4I, Joint Task Force (JTF) and Aluu Police Post could not combine their intelligence to the rescue of the victims, who were burnt to death, lamenting that “their (victims’) death showed how cheap human life is, even when complained.”
Passing his judgment, the judge stressed that the sentence should teach all men that human life should be respected as the utmost value of God’s the creator.
Earlier, the counsel to the defendants pleaded that the court should tender justice with mercy and asked the court to reduce the punishment of the convicts, following first convict’s status as a married man with two wives and father of many children.
But the submission was countered by the prosecution counsel, the Director of the State Public Prosecution, I. Otorubio, who urged the court to discountenance the submission by the defence, saying that the punishment for such offence was death with no option.
“They should have considered the victims that were killed, especially one of them who was the only son of his family.”
It would be recalled that 11 persons, including the paramount ruler of Aluu community, Alhaji Hassan Welewa, were tried for the murder of the four youths.
Alhaji Welewa and four others were charged for negligence to wit, felony.
They were discharged and acquitted in January 2017.
The post Aluu Four: Police Sergeant, Two Others Sentenced To Death appeared first on Independent Newspapers.
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Author: Daniel Abia