By okon kwo eze Onitsha
The Chairman of G.U.O Motors Limited, Chief G.U Okeke has told an Onitsha High Court in Anambra State, presided over by Justice Chudi Nwankwo how his kidnappers used machetes on him during and after his abduction on August 23, 2009.
Making this clarification before the court during a re-examination by the prosecution counsel, Chris Ajugwe who appeared for him with Uju Akuneziri, Okeke declared: “The attack on my person started from All Saints’ Anglican Church Cathedral, Onitsha which is just about two poles away from this court”.
According to Okeke, “I disarmed their leader, Emeka Eze who later jumped bail and when I fell down while struggling with him, other members of the gang were slapping me at the back with their machetes, though without deep cut”.
”They also fired gun shots at my left leg on the process and when they over-powered and whisked me off to their hideout in a bush between Neni and Adazi-Enu, the second accused person, Anthony Okafor gave me a deep machete cut or should I call it a deep dagger cut on my left hand and that was the only deep cut they inflicted on me with machete or dagger”.
“In other words, they used machetes on my back which did not inflict deep cut on me, which was why I told the police in my statement shortly after I regained my freedom that they fired me on the leg and gave me several machete cuts on my back but the one that cut deep into my body was the one the second accused person, Anthony Okafor gave me on my left hand while I was still in their camp”.
On whether he mentioned the name of Alexander Onyinanya, the third accused person to the police before Onyinanya was arrested by the police, Okeke answered: “I did not mention his name to the police before his arrest because I suspected he is a criminal and as such, he could re-escape to South Africa where he returned from, if he got to know that I had discovered he was among those that kidnapped me”.
”Secondly, he could arrange for my second attack or kidnap and that was why I only mentioned his name to Chinenye Ihenko (a.k.a Okpompi), the commander of the vigilante group in Onitsha who incidentally was Onyinanya’s boss”.
”He was consequently arrested after two years when he thought he had been forgotten and it was after his arrest that I now mentioned his name to the police in my statement”.
At this stage, Justice Nwankwo commended Okeke for successfully concluding his evidence-in-chief, cross-examinations and re-examinations which made him to appear before the court upto 10 times so far.
The prosecution counsel, Ajugwe invited one police officer, Inspector Tony Obiozor to come into the dock to testify as one of the prosecution witnesses.
But both the counsel to the first, second and third accused persons, O. U. Oduma, D. U. Nwafor and Okongwu, raised preliminary objections to the invitation of the prosecution witness on the ground that Inspector Obiozor’s name was not among those listed as prosecution witnesses..
But the prosecution counsel, Ajugwe, pleaded with the court to allow Obiozor to testify as one of those who effected the arrests of the accused persons, adding that more so, most of the police officers who were directly involved in the investigation processes had either died or posted out of Anambra State.where they could no longer be easily traced.
However, the presiding judge, Nwankwo granted their objections and ordered Ajugwe to make a formal application for the inclusion of Obiozor as one of the prosecution witnesses, if he actually insisted that Obiozor would be of immense assistance to the case.
Justice Nwankwo therefore adjourned further hearing till February 25 and 27, March 18, 20, 24, 25 and April 1, 3 and 9, 2014 respectively.