Four remanded for murder, dumping of 22-year-old man’s body in Imo river
Four persons have been remanded in the Afara Custodial Centre, Umuahia, Abia State, for the alleged murder of a 22-year-old man, Chima Ephraim.
The defendants – Amarachi Innocent (50), Obiuto Nwankwo (41), Ikeagwuchi Jacob (31), Iheakachi Onyedinmanazu (40) and others at large – were said to have on June 31, 2021, at Umunwankwo village, Umuchima Nnaji community, in the Isiala Ngwa North Magisterial District, conspired to commit the offence.
According to the police, the offence is punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap. 80 Vol. 3 Laws of Abia State, 2005.
On the second count, they were said to have used different weapons, including machetes and sticks, to beat up and injure Ephraim, which caused his death.
The charge stated that the accused threw his body into a flowing river, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Cap. 80 Vol. 3 Laws of Abia State, 2005.
The Magistrate’s Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, presided over by Magistrate Nwankpa Chucks, said it lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter because it bordered on murder.
Chucks ordered that the defendants be remanded in a custodial centre, adding that they were at liberty to seek bail at the High Court.
The magistrate instructed that the original case file be transferred to the attorney-general for further actions.
The mother of the deceased, Mrs Ngozi Ogaloye, said her son was butchered and put into a bag before he was thrown into the Imo River.
Mrs Ogaloye explained that she lost her husband in 2014, adding that since June 2021 she had been looking for her son who travelled to his father’s hometown.
She noted that a friend who came back from Lagos for Christmas informed her that her son was killed seven months earlier.
A family source said the woman, after losing her husband, left for her hometown in Delta State.
When her son inquired about the father, she directed him to Isiala Ngwa, Abia State, and the young Ephraim went in search of his hometown.
However, the source said on reaching home, the father’s siblings thought he came to look for his father’s property and decided to do away with him.
He was allegedly beaten to death and his remains bagged and thrown into the Imo River.
The family’s lawyer, Mr Tony Nwaduba, described the matter as “pathetic, a strong injustice to human for people to kill the young boy and throw his corpse into a river.” He called on the police to look for the corpse.