Five suspects who were on trial for the attempted murder of Chief Onyema Igbokei, the Okwabani of Edo Ogwashi-Uku two years ago, were given life sentences by Hon. Justice Umukoro of the Delta State High Court in Asaba on Thursday.
Recall that the new Chief was appointed to oversee the affairs of the Edo and Otulu Ogwashi-Uku villages by the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku two years ago.
A gang led by the convicted suspects severely attacked him soon after he was appointed.
Michael Arueze Njoh, Monday Okondo, Chinedu Anene, and Agaliga Okolie received life sentences for attacking the new Chief.
The convicts are said to have shot him in broad daylight and left him for dead.
He was rescued by members of the community and rushed to the hospital to have the bullets removed from his body.
The matter was first reported at the Ogwashi-Uku police station and then transferred to the Delta State CID for further investigations.
The Obi of Ogwashi-Uku concerned about the overall activities of the gang who had been operating in the Otulu and Edo Ogwashi-Uku areas requested the intervention of the Inspector General of Police.
After a painstaking investigation which was carried out by the IG Monitoring Unit, the suspects were brought back to Delta and charged with attempted murder, cultism, illegal possession of firearms and other charges.
The trial continued for the past two years in Court 5, Asaba led by Hon. Justice Umukoro.
Today, he finally reached his verdict and convicted them on all counts and sentenced all of them to life imprisonment.
When contacted for comments, the Palace Secretary of the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, thanked the Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice in Delta State, The Director of Public Prosecutions and her State Counsel who prosecuted the matter, the Inspector General, Commissioner of Police in Delta State and all members of the Edo Ogwashi-Uku community who stood firm against the threats even during the trial.
According to him ‘today is an important day for our community.”
“These people and others about to face trial have terrorised our community for a very long time. We are glad they have had their day in court and the court has given its verdict. It is our sincere hope that this will serve as a deterrence to others especially in the Otulu and Edo Ogwashi-Uku area so they know that there are consequences for their illegal activities,” he added.