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1 Jul 2020

High Court Takes Action Against Chief For Kidnapping And Murder

A Benin High Court, on Tuesday, issued a remand order sought by the Edo State Police Command to keep the Iyatsere of Warri and the leader of the Itsekiri people in Edo State, Chief Johnson Atseleghe, and 11 others over alleged kidnap and murder of the youth leader of the Kolo-kolo community in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state, Sunny Etchie.
The suspects were brought to court on four counts of attempted kidnap, kidnap, attempted murder and murder of Etchie.

The offences, according to the police, are punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; sections 2 (2) and 3 of the Kidnapping Prohibition (amendment) Law, 2013 of Edo State; Section 324 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and sections 316 (1) and 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The presiding judge, Justice Efe Ikpomwonba, refused the bail application by the counsel for the accused and ordered that they should be remanded in police custody for two weeks.

He, thereafter, adjourned sitting to July 23, 2020, and ordered that the duplicates of the case files be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Kokumo, confirmed that Atseleghe was in custody and was being investigated for the disappearance of Etchie.

Etchie was reportedly picked up by some persons believed to be acting under the instructions of Atseleghe over three weeks ago and was assumed to have been killed.

Our correspondents gathered that Atseleghe’s arrest came on the heels of the lingering land dispute between the Itsekiri and the Bini people in the Ologbo community of Edo State, with several persons reportedly killed from both sides.

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