Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Edo State High Court, Benin City, yesterday approved a remand order sought by the police to keep the Iyatsere of Warri and leader of Itsekiri people in Edo State, Mr. Johnson Atseleghe and 11 others over alleged kidnap and murder of the Youth Leader of Kolo-kolo community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, Mr. Sunny Etchie.
They were brought before the court with Charge No. B/Ed/445M/2020 on four count charges of “attempted kidnap, kidnap, attempted murder and murder of Sunny Etchie,” which is punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, Section 2 (2) and punishable under Section 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 Section 316 (1) and punishable under Section (319) (1) of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Justice Efe Ikpomwonba refused any bail application by counsels to the accused and granted that the accused be remanded in police custody for two weeks and adjourned sitting to July 23 while he ordered that duplicates of the case files be sent to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice.
The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, confirmed to newsmen on phone that Atseleghe was in their custody and being investigated on the disappearance of Etchie.
Kokumo said: “I can confirm to you that one Mr. Johnson Atseleghe is in our custody who is being investigated over allegation over an incident that somebody is missing and the persons who were last seen with the missing man were linked to him.”
According to THISDAY investigation, Etchie was reportedly picked by some persons alleged to be under the directive of Atseleghe over three weeks ago and he is assumed to have been killed.
A group known as Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM) recently raised alarm over alleged incessant killing, kidnapping and disappearance of people in Kolo-kolo village.
The President of BSM, Mr. Curtis Ugbo, who led a protest to the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Zone 5, also called on the police to hold the leader of Itsekiri people in Ologbo, Atseleghe, responsible for the happenings in the area.