The absence of HRM Oghenekevwe Kumane, Ovie of Evwerni Kingdom in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, on Wednesday, stalled the arraignment of suspects arrested in connection with the gruesome murder of late Sylvester Adjogbe, following the crisis that rocked the community in 2020.
The Monarch, who is the first defendant and two others – Atiri Stephen and Kelli Omojugheri – were billed to be arraigned on Wednesday (February 17) at the Federal High Court, Warri.
The case marked No. FHC/WR/95C/2020 is between the Inspector General of Police and Oghenekevwe Kumane, and 2 other suspects.
However, the king failed to show up for the arraignment without any reason.
Meanwhile, the police prosecutors led by DSP Irabor, Samuel Mallum and Michael Uye announced their appearance when the matter was called, while Barr. S B Olorogun appeared for the defendants, Barr. Omas Ogedegbe appeared for the nominal complainant.
The Court presided by Honorable Justice Emeka Nwete held that since the 1st defendant was absent in court without reasons, against the promised he made to the police, the plea cannot be taken, as such the matter was adjourned to March 15, 2021.
Meanwhile, the police counsel, applied that the 2nd and 3rd defendants be remanded at the Nigeria Correctional Center, Sapele, till March 15, 2021 when the three suspects will be arraigned and a plea will be taken, an application which was granted by the court.
The Monarch, HRM Oghenekevwe Kumane, Atiri Stephen and Kelli Omojugheri were arraigned on two counts charge.
According to the police charge sheet, it read: “That You Oghenekevwe Kumane, Atiri Stephen, Kelli Omojugheri, on or about the 1/07/2020 at about 1400 hours in Evwerni 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 Evwerni 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 Section 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 Evwerni Community and threatened residents of Evwerni 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 Sam Adjogbe was killed at their family compound at Evwreni community, on July 1, 2020 following the crisis that engulfed the community as a result of criminal activates of vigilante group supported by the monarch.
As at the time of filing this report, the two other suspects arrested for their alleged involvement in the killing of late Sylvester Adjogbe has been remanded at Nigeria Correctional Center, Sapele, Delta State.