Four farmers, Akuha Igber, Awuhe Ashwe, Gowon Genki and Takela Denke, on Wednesday appeared before a Makurdi Chief Magistrate’s Court charged with killing a 95-year-old man, Boun Adi.
The suspects, all residents of Tse-Igbazer in Gwer-West Local Government Area of Benue, were charged with criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide punishable under sections 97 and 22 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004.
At their arraignment before Chief Magistrate Regina Ochokwunu, the Prosecutor, Sgt. Regina Ishaya, told the court that the case was transferred from the Divisional Police Headquarter, Naka to the State CIID, Makurdi on Nov. 12, 2018, via a letter.
According to the letter, on Nov. 7, 2018, one Patrick Yanmile of Naka, Gwer-West reported at the Naka Police Station that his 95-year-old uncle was killed.
The letter quoted Yanmile as stating that the accused persons and others, now at large, had conspired, attacked and killed his uncle in his house for no reason.
He further stated that the accused persons, and the fleeing suspects, alleged that the deceased was a wizard and was responsible for many deaths.
The prosecutor said that two persons were earlier arrested and arraigned before Chief Magistrate’s Court 4, for the crime, while the accused persons, who were previously at large, were arrested during further Police investigation.
However, when the case came up for mention, the pleas of the accused were not taken because the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The prosecutor informed the court that investigation into the matter was still in progress to enable the Police apprehend the other suspects that were still at large.
He urged the court to adjourn to a later date.
The Magistrate, Ochokwunu, adjourned the matter to Jan. 21, for mention, and directed that the suspects should be remanded in Prison custody.