A Chief Magistrate Court in Makurdi, on Monday ordered that eight persons be remanded at the Nigeria Correctional Service Centre, Makurdi, for their alleged involvement in cult activities and the murder of one Sunday Ogah.
The suspects are Destiny Ogwu, Friday Alagi, Sunday Ode, Ogbada Ominyi, James Abah, Joseph Ogilewu, Israel Agwu and John Ogor.
They all reside in Oju Local Government Area of Benue State and were charged with criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt, unlawful society and acts of terrorism.
When the case came up on Monday, the suspects plea were not taken for lack of jurisdiction.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Kelvin Mbanongun, adjourned the matter to March 14 for further mention.
Initially, the Prosecution Counsel, Insp. Jonah Uletu, told the court that the case was transferred from Oju Division on January 10 to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Makurdi, via a letter dated January 9.
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“On January 4, chaos broke out in Onyike Market in Oju due to a rival cult clash.
“In the course of the clash, Ogah, Joseph Odigiri and Joseph Ofor were severely matchetted and they sustained multiple injuries.
“The victims were rushed to General Hospital, Oju, but Ogah was later referred to Benue State University Teaching Hospital for further treatment due to the degrees of injury but died on January 11”, he said.
Uletu also disclosed that the defendants, who were arrested in connection with the crimes, allegedly confessed being members of various cult groups terrorizing Oju and its environs.
He stated that the offences contravened Sections 97, 222, 248 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004, adding that they also contravened Section 11(2) of the Abduction, Hostage taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Prohibition Law of Benue, 2017.