Court Remands Enugu Monarch, Four Others In Prison For Alleged Murder Of  Two Policemen, Others 

An Enugu State North Magistrate Court on Thursday ordered the remand of five community leaders from Igga community in Uzo-Uwani Council Area into prison custody. 

Among those remanded are the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Herbert Ukuta, and a former Councilor, Festus Okonkwo. They face allegations of murder and membership in the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The leaders had been detained by police for over a month without trial. 

The detention came under scrutiny after SaharaReporters highlighted that the State Criminal Investigation Department demanded a refund of N1.5 million purportedly spent on feeding the monarch while in custody. This exposé seemingly prompted the authorities to arraign the leaders.

The accused appeared before Enugu North Magistrate Court 1 facing a 10-count charge that includes allegations of murder, conspiracy, concealing information, and membership in the proscribed IPOB and its militant wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN). 

The charges include the murder of five individuals, including two police officers.

According to the charge sheet No: MEN/320c/2024, the offences fall under several legal provisions, including Section 26(1) and Section 25(3) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 and Section 516(A) of the Criminal Code Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

The charges detail grave accusations, such as conspiring to commit felonies, participating in activities of a terrorist group, recruiting others into IPOB/ESN, and concealing terrorist activities. 

Specific charges include the murders of Police Inspector Nwoga Cornellus and Police Constable Ikowa Anthony, among others, allegedly committed on May 3, 2024, in the Uzo-Uwani Magisterial District.

When the charges were read, the accused did not enter any pleas due to the magistrate’s lack of jurisdiction over federal charges.

 Consequently, the court ordered that all the accused be remanded at Enugu Maximum Correctional Centre.

This case has drawn significant attention due to the involvement of high-profile community leaders and the severe nature of the allegations. 

The judicial process will now proceed to higher courts with appropriate jurisdiction to handle such serious charges.

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