A Chief Magistrate’s Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has remanded in custody two of the three suspected killers of a Jumia delivery agent, Chukwuma Eleje, following their arraignment by the police.
Eleje had gone to deliver some phones to the suspects identified as Sodienye Mbatumukeke and Excel Naabe when they allegedly killed him on March 25, 2017 and also threw his body into a septic tank.
According to charge No. PMC/697C/2017, the suspects were arraigned on three counts before Chief Magistrate Amadi Amadi-Nna.
The charge reads in part: “That you, Sodienye Mbatumukeke, on March 25, 2017, on Ada-George Street, Shell Location Mgbuoba, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did use a pestle to hit the head of one Eleje Chukwuma, and robbed him of one Infinix Note 3 handset valued at N67,000, one IM-10 desktop GSM phone dual SIM, valued at N9,500, and one Gionee M6 phone, valued at N105,000; all valued at N181,000.00, property of Jumia Online Shopping Company, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 1 (2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“That you, Sodienye Mbatumukeke and Excel Divine Naabe, on the same date and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony, to wit: murder, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.
“That you, Sodienye Mbatumukeke and Excel Divine Naabe, on the same date and place in the aforesaid magisterial district, did murder one Eleje Chukwuma, by hitting him on the head with a pestle and subsequently suffocated him by covering his head with a polythene bag, before tying him with a wire, which caused his death, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.”
After the case was mentioned in the court, the presiding magistrate, Amadi-Nna, stated that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter as a result of the gravity of the offence.
He asked that the case file be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice and adjourned the matter indefinitely.
He said that the suspects could seek bail at the state High Court.
It was observed that the third suspect, Joy Eluwa, was not arraigned.