Ikokwu Four: Court Will Determine Judgement – Defence Counsel

The counsel representing the third defendant in trial of dismissed officers facing charges of alleged murder and brutality has said the court will determine judgement at the end of the  trial.

Speaking in an interview Barrister Kingston Nwinee said that the court would take decision at the end of the trial.

He said: “We are not in the mind of the court to say the direction (of the case). We are only doing our bit. Prosecution is also doing his bit. At the end of the day, it will be left for the court to determine judgement. Good or bad, court must deliver its judgement one way or the other”.

He accepted the possibility that judgement could be against him but said he was fighting to prove innocence of his client.

Egbunafu Felix is the third defendant in the case.

The defence recently cross-examined the second prosecution witness Ifeanyi Osuji on what he knew about the case.

In the interview, he disputed evidence by second prosecution witness that they were tortured by the police.

He said it was false for the witness to testify they were tortured and had sustained injuries saying there should have been police medical report for them to go to hospital.

He also said the cause of death of one of the victims was not traceable to torture but then said it was left for the witness to prove the allegation.

The defence counsel said: “It’s to prove that beyond all reasonable doubt. It’s not just to allege but for him to establish that he died as a result of the police torture”.

The counsel challenged the prosecution to establish evidence over the allegation.

He also challenged him to prove case of guilt against the defendants saying that they should prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt.

He said he was doing his bit to prove innocence of his client.

The four dismissed officers Ayogu Fidelis, Eke Chibuzor, Egbunafu Felix and Rose Georgewill face five-count charge of murder and act with intent to maim.

They are accused of allegedly torturing five Ikokwu mechanics leading to the death of one of the mechanics which sparked social media outrage as users had called for justice for the victims.

One of the victims Chima Ikwunado allegedly died in detention from police torture.

They were arrested in December 2019 for allegedly driving against traffic and were taken to Mile One Police Station from where they were taken to court but later released.

They were arrested by officers of disbanded Eagle Crack Unit in Rivers State Police Command which had arraigned them before the case was taken over by state government.

The trial of the officers first began at State Chief Magistrate Court before it was moved to High Court.

The prosecuting counsel, Chidi Ekeh, previously told reporters that it was the duty of the state to prosecute crime saying crimes were committed against the state and not against individuals.

The four dismissed officers pleaded not guilty at the magistrate court.

The presiding judge of the Port-Harcourt High Court, Honourable Justice Florence Fiberesima, at one hearing urged the prosecuting and defence counsels to ensure that the matter would get speedy trial.

One of the defence counsels, E.G. Eke, who represents the second defendant Eke Chibuzor, closed his cross-examination of the second prosecution witness in October.

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