Ozubulu Catholic church killings: 4 suspects charged with murder

St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Amakwa-Ozubulu, Anambra State where 11 people were killed
St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Amakwa-Ozubulu, Anambra State where 11 people were killed
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Four suspects, yesterday, were arraigned before an Anambra State Magistrate’s Court sitting at Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state, over their alleged involvement in the killings of 13 persons at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, on August 6.

Those arraigned are Vincent Ike, 57, Onyebuchi Mbanefo (46), Great Chinedu Akpunonu (44) and Chukwudi Ugwu (30). Three other suspects are said to remain at large. The suspects were arraigned on 37-count charge of conspiracy and murder.

Their charges read in part; “That you, Great Chinedu Akpunonu, Vincent Ike , Chukwudi Ugwu and others now at large on or about 6th day of August 2017 at St Philip Catholic Church, Amakwa Ozubulu around 6 a.m. in the Ekwusigo Magisterial District did conspired to commit felony to wit: Murder.

You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 494 of the Criminal Code Cap 36 vol. II revised laws of Anambra state of Nigeria 1991. Count two reads: “That you, Great Chinedu Akpunonu, Vincent Ike, Chukwudi Ugwu and others now at large on the same date, place, and time and within the aforementioned magisterial district did unlawfully kill one Anthony Ufondu by shooting her with a gun which caused her death.

You thereby committed an offence punishable under ‘Section 274(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 36 Vol. H revised laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 1991. Another count states: “That you, Great Chinedu Akpunonu, Vincent Ike, Chukwudi Ugwu and others now at large on the same date, place, time and within the aforementioned magisterial district did unlawfully kill one Anurika Obunadike by shooting her with a gun which caused her death.

You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 274(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 36 Vol. H revised laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 1991.

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The counsel for the first defendant (Akpunonu), Mr. Okechukwu Ikenna, sought the leave of the court for medical treatment of his client who he said was “seriously ill.” The prosecuting counsel, B.A. Onwuemekaghi, who opposed the application, said that such plea should come by writing and 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. A South Africa-based businessman, Aloysius Ikegwuonu, whose father was murdered in the attack, the Parish Priest of St Philip’s Catholic Church, Reverend Father Jude Onwuaso and six others were called as witnesses in the matter.


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