Posted by By Kayode Ketefe on
The General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Ajao Estate, Lagos, Rev. Emeka King, was re-arraigned alongside two members.....
The General Overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly, Ajao Estate, Lagos, Rev. Emeka King, was re-arraigned alongside two members of his church before a Yaba Magistrate’s Court on Thursday The court was presided over by Mr. Adesola Ikpati.
King and other accused persons - Donatus Chiasor and Miss Kelechi – were arraigned this time on a two-count charge of conspiracy to murder and murder of a member of the church, Miss Ann Uzor.
Uzor was one of the seven members of the church that were allegedly set ablaze on July 22, by the accused persons after a jerry can of petrol was allegedly poured on them.
The Thursday arraignment was the second within 24 hours for King and the co-accused.
They had earlier been arraigned on Wednesday before an Ebute-Metta Magistrate’s Court on a four-count charge, including conspiracy and attempted murder.
Explaining to the court why the police were re-arraigning the accused persons, the police prosecutor, Mr. Ochugbo Ogbe, said the death of Uzor had changed the nature of the case and that the accused persons should now face a murder charge.
He admitted that though the Magistrate, Mr. Teslim Elias, granted bail to the accused persons on Wednesday, their bail was based on different offences not as serious as murder.
Consequently, he urged the court to remand the accused persons in prison custody till their trial resumed.
However, after hearing the lawyer to King and Kelechi, Mr. Mike Okoye, who urged the court not to hear the case because it lacked jurisdiction, the magistrate struck out the new charge.
The court said the case was not properly brought before it and that the prosecutor ought to have withdrawn the charge pending against the accused persons at the Ebute-Metta Magistrate’s Court before bringing the new charge.
The court held that it had no jurisdiction to try the case since it was a capital offence which the statute had put beyond its power.
The accused persons were taken away by the policemen from the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, who brought them to court.
Apart from Uzor who died on Tuesday night in a private hospital in Ajao Estate, the remaining victims allegedly set ablaze by the accused persons are Olisa Chiejinna, Onuorah Chisobah, Uche Iwoba, Vivian Ezeocha, Bunmi Olisa and Nwere Jessica.
The trial of King and others two accused persons will resume before the Ebute-Metta Magistrate Court on August 11.