By Akpos Oghenetega,
The absence of Justice Emeka Nwete of the Federal High Court, Warri, Delta State, on Monday stalled the trial of HRM Oghenekevwe Kumane, Ovie of Evwreni Kingdom in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state, on his alleged involvement in the gruesome murder of late Sylvester Adjogbe, following the alleged crisis that rocked the community in 2020.
The monarch and two others; Atiri Stephen and Kelli Omojugheri were billed to be arraigned and their plea to be taken today, Monday, March 15, in the case marked No. FHC/WR/95C/2020, but the matter was adjourned till April 21, 2021.
However, the absence of the trial judge, Justice Nwete who was said to be out on official duty, again stalled the arraignment of the monarch and his possible trial.
Recall that the monarch and two others who are currently being reminded at the Sapele Correctional Center were to be arraigned on February 17, but the king failed to show up without any reason.
At the last sitting of the court, his counsel, S B Olorogun asked for a fresh date to enable him to bring his client (the Evwreni monarch) to court to take his plea when the monarch failed to appear at the court during the first sitting, and the application was granted by the court.
The court also granted the application of the police counsel requesting the court to remand the other two suspects in the Nigeria Correctional Center, Sapele, till March 15, 2021, for their arraignment and a plea taken, and the Judge graciously granted the application too.
Our correspondent, who was at the court today, observed that before the court adjourned following the absence of Justice Nwete, HRM Oghenekevwe Kumane, Atiri Stephen, and Kelli Omojugheri were not seen around the court premises.
The Monarch, two other suspects were arraigned on two counts charge, according to the police charge sheet which reads:
“That you, Oghenekevwe Kumane, Atiri Stephen, Kelli Omojugheri, on or about the 1/07/2020 at about 1400 hours in Evwreni Community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, while chanting war songs, armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, and firing sporadically, with the intent to intimidate and terrorize the entire Evwreni Community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, which act led to the killing of late Sylvester Adjogbe and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1 and 4 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 4(2) of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011.
“That you, Oghenekevwe Kumane, Atiri Stephen and Kelli Omojugheri on or about the 1400 hours in Evwerni Community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, provided support, assistance and facilities to the armed gang of Oghenekevwe Kumane led by one Tuesday Okwah to terrorize Evwreni Community and threatened residents of Evwreni Community and thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 and Punishable under Section 33(a) of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011.”
Recall that late Sylvester Adjogbe, a 34-year-old younger brother of former Executive Director, Projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Engr Samuel Adjogbe, FNSE was killed at their family compound at Evwreni community, on July 1, 2020, following the alleged crisis that engulfed the community as a result of criminal activities of vigilante group supported by the monarch.