By Egufe Yafugborhi & Davies Iheamnachor
A High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Wednesday sentenced Ifeanyichukwu Maxwell Dike and Ugochukwu Nwamiro to death for the ritual murder of eight-year-old Victory Chikamso.
Justice Adolphus Enebeli in his judgement ruled that Dike, 200-Level Student of Physics at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) be hung on his neck till death while Ugochukwu Nwamiro should be hung on his leg until dead with no option of fine for both convicts.
Police Sergeant Johnbosco Okoronze, who was found guilty of aiding and assisting the escape of Dike from police custody before being rearrested in course of his trial, was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.
Justice Enebeli said he so sentenced Johnbosco Okoronze because he has served two years in prison already and has been dismissed from the police force.
The judge ruled against the 2nd Defendant, Nwamiro on the confessional statement by a lead suspect in the murder of the minor and 1st Defendant, Dike who maintained in four statements that he was asked to deliver the little girl’s sensitive organs to gain financial independence.
The court ruled that the prosecution proved his case beyond a reasonable doubt, insisting that counsel to Dike, Lezina Amegwa in his first written address did not deny the fact that his client committed the offence of murder, but said he did based on insanity.
Family members of Ugochukwu Nwamiro broke down in tears at the pronouncement of his sentence.
State Prosecution Counsel, Chidi Eke, in post judgement remarks, described the judgment as a landmark and has brought about justice for the state, family of late Victory Chikamso and soul of the departed.
John Ndah, Counsel to Ugochukwu Nwamiro, expressed intent to appeal the judgement as Lezina Amegwa, Counsel to Ifeanyichukwu Dike said he may not appeal the matter under circumstances in the judgment.
Victory Chikamso, a minor, was murdered and vital organs severed 18, August 2017 by Ifeanyichukwu Maxwell-Dike, the victim’s supposed relative, who was first apprehended at Eliozu, Obio-Akpor Local Government and handed over to Nigerian Police.
Ifeanyichukwu Maxwell-Dike later escaped from police custody with aiding from Sgt Johnbosco before being rearrested in John, Plateau State.