Monday, February 15, 2021 8:56 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has sentenced on Sodienye Mbatumukeke to death after finding him guilty of charges of murder leveled against him.
The accused has been on trial since 2017 on two-count charges of murder and armed robbery.
He was arraigned alongside one Excel Naabee who was acquitted and discharged of the charges by Justice Chigozie Igwe.
Police had alleged that the two accused conspired to kill Eleje and dumped his remains in a septic tank in March 2017 in a house at Ada George Road in Obio-Akpor local government area of Rivers.
The deceased, a Dispatcher for Jumia, was murdered when he went to deliver items such as iPhone and other valuables ordered online by Mbatumueke and his accomplice, Excel Naabee.
The duo were first arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt before the case was transferred to the State High Court
Justice Chigozie Igwe had reserved judgment till today, 15 January 2021 after the two lawyers to the accused made the final submission last December.
In his submission, Bonaventure Ugwu, the counsel to Mbatumueke had urged the court to discharge and acquit his client as the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Lucky Agor, the lawyer to Naabee, also asked the court to discharge and acquit his client, arguing that the prosecution failed to prove that Naabee was an accomplice in the murder of Eleje.
But in a counter submission, the Prosecution Counsel urged the Court to convict the accused as the 42 exhibits and 10 witnesses presented before the court proved their culpability.
He said the confessional statement of Mbatumeke proved that he tricked the deceased to come into the compound so he could kill him and collect his valuables.