The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has again adjourned hearing on the murder of four UNIPORT students tentatively for September 24, October 8 and 24, due to lack of readiness by the prosecutor.
It would be recalled that a similar adjournment was given when it was fixed for hearing on July 9, due to the absence of one of the counsels.
But when the matter came up for hearing yesterday, it suffered an early setback, as the prosecutor was still absent, while other interested parties were ready for the legal battle. The development caused the presiding judge, Letam Nyordee, to give additional time for the reconstitution of the court over the matter at about 9:20 am.
Hearing resumed at 10:40am, when it was certain that the prosecutor had shown up.
Following introductions by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, and counsels to the accused persons, the DPP again shocked the court by pleading with the judge that the case be adjourned till a later date.
According to the DPP, Otombio esq., the case file was not transferred to him from the former prosecutor, Rufus Godwin, on time.
Otombio harped on the need to get more acquainted with the case file and asked for an adjournment.
In reaction, the presiding judge expressed deep dissatisfaction with the way and manner the prosecutor had handled the hearing which has become a subject of adjournments and waste of time, despite the importance attached to the murder case.
Justice Ayordee stressed the need to regain the time lost so far since the closure of the courts in Rivers State. “We have lost over a year and apart from the three on bail, the rest have been on remand. I am not impressed.
He blamed the state counsel, DPP, for not keeping to time despite the fixed date.
A visibly concerned judge remarked that the case could only be entertained after the resumption of from vacation in September, even as he counseled the prosecutor and defendants to stick to a date.
”The prosecutor has to show greater commitment for us to make progress,” warning that no application should distort the new date.
Meanwhile, it was an emotional moment for relatives of the 12 accused persons who took time to chat with their loved ones and friends.
On Friday, October 5, 2012, four undergraduates of the University of Port Harcourt, popularly referred to as Aluu 4, were victims of jungle justice that took place in Aluu over alleged theft of mobile phones and laptops.
Those murdered were Ugonna Obuzor, Lloyd Toku Mike, Tekenah Elkanah and Chiadika Biringa.
The 12 accused persons include Lawal Segun, ex-Sergeant Lucky Orji, Ikechukwu Louis Amadi (aka Kapoon), David Chinasa Ogbada, Abiodu Yusuf and Joshua Ekpe. Others are Abang Cyril, John Ayuwa, Alhaji Hassan Welewa (paramount ruler of Aluu community), Okoghiroh Endurance, Ozioma Abajuo and Chigozie Evans Samuel.

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