Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The two suspected killers of Eleje Chukwuma, a dispatch rider whose body was found in a septic tank last year, have pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge of conspiracy, murder and armed-robbery filed against them.
The suspects appeared in court in continuation of the murder trial that started last year. A magistrate court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, last year remanded them in prison.
The accused persons, Sodienye Mbatumukeke (aka Jelly) and Excel Divine Naabe (aka Joker) committed the offence on March 25, 2017, at No. 1 Ada-Ede Street, Shell Location, Mgbuoba, Port Harcourt.
The charge stated that the accused persons carried offensive weapons, including a pestle, and hit the victim on the head and robbed of him an Infinix Note 3 handset valued at N67,000.
Also, they robbed him of one Gionee M6 phone valued N105,000 and IM-10 Desktop GSM dual sims phone valued N9,500; all totaling N181,000.
The trial Chief Magistrate, Andrew O. Amadi-Nna, after the case was mentioned, said the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter due to the gravity of the offences committed.
He said the case file would be transferred to the Court Registrar for onward transmission to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice.
He said that the accused persons could seek bail at the State High Court.
There was no defense counsel for the accused persons. The third accused person, a female, Joy Eluwa, was not brought to court for arraignment.