Ozubulu killings: court floors Bishop, grants bail to 94-year old native doctor, others
From Chuks Collins, Awka
An Ozubulu Magistrate court has granted bail to the suspects including a 94 year-old native Doctor and high priest of the dreaded Ndekwulu deity in the community, who were charged to court following their alleged efforts to stop all the gruesome killings of sons and daughters of Ozubulu at home and in the diaspora.
Reports have it that some concerned Ozubulu youths including their executives who were allegedly miffed by the series of killings of their kith and kilns at home and in South Africa especially took the matter up. That every citizen agreed for any lawful moves to be adopted to stop the carnage.
They therefore went before the Ndekwulu shrine in the town, listing some names including even police officers, legal officers, community leaders, church leaders and others allegedly invoking the anger of the gods on any one it considered was in any way involved in the series of murders.
They were immediately arrested, while a son of the community Kennel Ernest who we learnt was not involved in the action of the youths but because someone wanted his name and reputation imperiled was inexplicably involved.
Those arrested included Emeka Anaekwe, Anazo Ilomuanya, Ifediora Aloysius, Igbokwe Nnanyeleze and Okoli Appollo Udegbunam.
So it will be recalled that after their arrest and following the magistrate court’s ruling on the bail conditions requiring a letter of recognition from the traditional ruler or the community’s President General(PG), from each surety that must be from within the jurisdiction of the court.
These conditions were met but the monarch and the PG declined to sign in order to ensure their release. Consequently they were compelled to seek sureties from outside Ozubulu.
Owing to this development the complainants (Mr. Aloysius Ikegwuonu, aka “Bishop” and others) presented a hold of execution citing irregularities on the part of the sureties and the requirements hence they cannot comply in signing or confirming these individuals to stand as sureties on the behalf of the accused persons. The case was therefore moved to the high court for bail variation.
But the presiding judge discarded the bail conditions variation request and other averment as unconstitutional.
The police again filed a motion to stay execution of bail stating that the judge was biased and referred the case to Court of Appeal.
On the date of appeal hearing at Enugu, the judge ruled that never in history have they received a case on variation of bail. As such, ruled with ultimatum that the case be withdrawn with immediate effect.
The judge adjourned the case to November 14,2018, and that if the case was not withdrawn, he would be compelled to award costs and compensation to the accused.
The court also ruled that the OC Legal must be present in court on that date to state his reasons for not complying to the bail variations of the high court for which reasons they brought the case to the Court of Appeal.
Consequently on the light of the above, they were compelled to withdraw the case and bring it down to the Magistrate court, and to the High Court, which sat last week Friday where the judge asked them to serve a letter to the defense counsel (Mr Ejiofor Esq)which was served instantly.
Upon receipt of their letter on Friday, the defense counsel, Ejiofor appeared before the magistrate court Monday, October 15,2018.
But the magistrate refused to comply with the bail variations and again referred them to the high court…. but considering that the bail conditions has already been met and the recognition letter accepted and confirmed by the community’s monarch in line with the court order, the defense counsel argued that he saw no reason why the defendants will not be granted immediate bail.
The court was therefore compelled to grant the needed bail.