Seven persons alleged to have been involved in the 2017 killing of indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko Community of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, have challenged the decision of the Federal Government to prosecute them in Abuja.

The federal government in the charge filed by the office of Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, alleged that the Defendants, Nwochie Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku, had in May 2017, unleashed terror on the community by burning houses.

The government in the charge said one Cyprian Kumaorun was killed in the process.

On November 2, the defendants pleaded not giulty to the amended three-count charge filed against them.

During the trial, the defence lawyers, notified the court that they have filed an application for the case-file to be transferred to Asaba, Delta State.

“We have a motion for transfer of the matter from Abuja to Asaba or any other jurisdiction that is within the axis.

“We don’t even mind if the case is transferred to Benin, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt or even Anambra”, counsel to the 1st Defendant, Prof. Agbo Madaki submitted.

On his part, the Prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, sought an adjournment to enable him to respond to the transfer request dated December 1.

“The commencement of trial in this matter will depend on the outcome of the application”, Justice Abang held.

FG earlier prayed the court for an accelerated hearing of the case since it was terrorism related.

It equally informed the court that a total of 14 witnesses would be called to give evidence in the matter.

Some counts in the amended charge against the Defendants read: “That you, Nwochie Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko Alias Uwadiegwu and Emeka Bidoku Alias Onyeboundle of ldumuje-Ugboko community, Aniocha Norih Local Government Area of Delta between May 18 and 25, 2017 at ldumuie-Ugboko community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta, within the jurisdiction of this court, did conspire with others still at large to commit acts of terrorism.

“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.

“That you, Nwochie Light, Aikhomo Omezi, Okey Ifejoku, Godwin Aniemeke, Nonso Omefe, Dennis Nwoko and Emeka Bidoku of ldumuje-Ugboko community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta between May 18 and 25, 2017 at ldumuje-Ugboko community, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta within the jurisdiction of this court, did commit an act of terrorism, in that you and others still at large participated in an attack on members of ldumuje-Ugboko community and killed one Cyprain Kumaorun.

“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(e) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act 2013.”