Two young men, Richard Okpu, 20; and Ginikachi Idam, 18, were on Monday, remanded by an Ebonyi Magistrates’ Court sitting in Abakaliki for allegedly shooting their friend, one Kelechi Isaac to death while testing a charm.
The PUNCH reports that the victim and the suspects were friends until the incident.
Further investigations revealed that the victim had visited a native doctor and obtained a charm (known locally as Ode eshii) that would prevent bullets from penetrating his body.
To test the efficacy of the charm, it was further gathered that the victim, after using the charm, asked his friends to fire gunshots at him.
The late Isaac, who was said to have brought the gun with which his friends fired at him, died immediately after his friends shot at him.
One of the suspects, Richard Okpu, said, “I don’t know this kind of temptation. We were on our own and our friend, because three of us are friends, came and told us he has gotten Ode eshii (gunshot repelling charm) and that any of us who takes it and is shot at would not have bullets penetrate his body.
“We said okay, how do we know if it is working? He went and brought a gun from one hunter and said we should fire him, that the bullets would not enter. It was then that we fired at him and he died.
“We didn’t mean to kill him. We just wanted to test the efficacy of the charm.”
The suspects allegedly committed the offense on February 5, 2020, at Amasiri, in the Afikpo North Local Government Area, of the state.
They were arraigned before the Magistrates’ Court on Monday on two counts bothering on murder and felony.
The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Edet Effiong, told the court that the offence was punishable under sections 324 and 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
The charge read, “That you Richard Okpu ‘m’ and Ginikachi Idam ‘m’ on the 5th day of February 2020, at Amasiri community Afikpo North in the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; murder and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
“That you Richard Okpu ‘m’ and Ginikachi Idam ‘m’ on the same date and place, in the aforesaid Magisterial District did unlawfully cause the death of Kelechi Isaac ‘m’ by shooting him with a gun and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”
Application made by the suspects’ Defense Counsel, E.C. Nwokposi, that his clients be admitted to bail, was not granted.
The Chief Magistrate, Chinedu Agama, said the court did not have the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.
He directed that the suspects be remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, while their case file should be forwarded to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution in the state, for necessary advice.
The matter was adjourned till March 3, 2020.