Four suspects have been arraigned in a Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt for allegedly killing an operative of the Department of State Service in Rivers State.
The suspects, Osah Ebube, Elem Innocent, Nwebehia Prince and Ferdinand Akpe, were on Friday brought to court over the killing of the DSS operative, Mr. Garrick Oyaghiri.
It will be recalled that some gunmen had attacked DSS personnel in Obagi community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area on the eve of the national and state legislative rerun elections in the state.
During the crossfire between the unidentified gunmen and the security operatives, it was learnt that a DSS official was killed.
The DSS had swung into action and apprehended the suspects, who allegedly murdered their colleague about two months ago.
The suspects were dragged to the Magistrate Court in a charge sheet, PMC/867C/16, on two counts bordering on conspiracy and murder.
The count two read, “That you, Osah Ebube Chineme (Koingdom) Elem Innocent Aleze, Nwabehia Onyeocha Prince and Ferdinand Obi Akpe, all adults, with others still at large, on or about the 18th day of March, 2016, at Obagi community, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, within the jurisdiction of this court , did murder Garrick Jonathan Oyaghiri, a personnel of the State Security Services, by shooting and stabbing him to death and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 316 and punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code Law, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.”
When the matter came up in court, the Chief Magistrate, Sokari Andrew-Jaja, did not allow the charges against the accused persons to be read and no plea was taken.
Andrew-Jaja noted that the charges against the accused persons were capital offence and would be entertained by a high court.
The Chief Magistrate, who refused to grant the accused persons bail, relied on Section 108 (1) of Criminal Procedure Act, which provided that it was only the High Court that had the jurisdiction to grant an accused person facing capital charges bail.
“The section holds that an accused person who is facing capital offences shall be admitted to bail except by a High Court.”
Andrew-Jaja ordered that the original case file be remitted to the State’s Director of Public Prosecution for advice and adjourned till 27th July.
He declined having the jurisdiction on the matter, but remanded the suspects in prison pending the report of Department of Pubic Prosecution.