Although the court did not take any plea from the suspect, the Chief Magistrate, Amadi O. Amadi-Nna, directed that Dike should be in prison pending when the Directorate of Public Prosecutions would give advice on the matter.
In the suit, numbered 1897C/2017, the suspected ritual killer was charged with the killing of Nmezuwuba and removing her sensory organs with a knife.
The charge read in part, “That you, Ifeanyi Maxwell Dike, on August 18, 2017, on Messiah Close, Eliozu, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did kill one Chikamso Nmezuwuba, aged 8, by administering stupefying substance on her in order to obtain her sensory organs, which comprise tongue, ears, eyes, nipples, clitoris, nose, fingers, with the use of a knife, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 39 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. II, Law of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.”
Amadi-Nna, had earlier declined jurisdiction over the matter, saying it bordered on murder. He subsequently adjourned the case indefinitely.
Clad in a white T-shirt and trousers, the suspect intermittently shed tears, as security operatives held his two hands to stop him from escaping the second time.
The premises of the magistrate’s court was filled with curious residents who wanted to catch a glimpse of the suspect as he was led into the court and later into a white bus after the proceedings.
Dike had on August 18, 2017, allegedly raped, killed Nmezuwuba before removing her organs for alleged ritual purpose.
The suspect, who was arrested and handed over to the police, managed to escape, but was rearrested in Barkin Ladi in Jos, Plateau State.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Eno George, a Superintendent of Police, said, “Our expectation is that as far as the matter is concerned and based on the evidences against the suspect, justice will be done to serve as a deterrent to other would-be criminals.”
In his remarks, the counsel for the suspect, Mr. Lezina Amegua, said the murder charge was merely an allegation until proven in a court.
He said, “The law is not sentimental. If you say somebody killed another person, it remains a mere allegation except when proven in a court of competent jurisdiction.”
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