November 17, 2017

4 docked over Ozubulu church massacre

4 docked over Ozubulu church massacre

Blood stains at the scene of the deadly shooting at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, where an unknown gunman killed 11 persons and injured 18 others in Umuezekwe Ofufe Amakwa community of Ozubulu, Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra on Sunday

By Vincent Ujumadu

Awka—Four people, suspected to be involved in the August killings at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, were, yesterday, arraigned before an Anambra State Magistrate’s Court, sitting at Ozubulu.

During the church shooting in August, 13 persons were killed, while about 22 were injured.

The suspects— Great Chinedu Akpunonu, 44; Vincent Ike, 57; Chukwudi Ugwu, 30, and Onyebuchi Mbanefo, 46— were arraigned on a 37-count charge bordering on conspiracy and murder, while three others are still at large.

Among the persons invited as witnesses were Aloysius Ikegwuonu, a South African-based businessman, whose father was killed in the attack; the Parish Priest of St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Jude Onwuaso, and six others.

Mr. Okechukwu Ikenna, counsel for the first defendant, Akpunonu, sought the leave of the court for medical treatment of his client, who he said was “seriously ill.”

The prosecuting counsel, B. A. Onwuemekaghi, opposed the application, saying the plea should be by writing not oral.

Application for bail for second, third and fourth defendants failed as the magistrate, C. O. Ezenwanne, refused the application.

The magistrate bound over the matter to High Court, Nnewi, for hearing.