Cynthia’s murder: Defendants had it all planned, witness tells court

Cynthia Osokogu

The case was adjourned to March 13.

A prosecution witness on Thursday told a Lagos High Court at Igbosere, that the alleged murderers of Cynthia Osokogu, had it all planned, a few days before she was killed.

The deceased was raped and murdered after she was allegedly lured to Lagos through Facebook by two men.

The prosecution witness, Joseph Edo, told the court how Olisaeloka Ezike (second defendant), went to Agboju Market at the instance of Okumo Nwabufo (first defendant) and purchased a chain and a cellotape, which they used in ‘killing’ Cynthia.

Led in Evidence by the Lagos State Attorney-General, Ade Ipaye, Edo told the court: “it is the defendants’ stock-in-trade to invite women to hotels, drug and rape them.’’

He told the court, which was presided over by Justice Olabisi Akinlade, that Messrs Okumo and Ezike had it in mind to kill Cynthia on her arrival in Lagos.

“From my investigation, I discovered that the first defendant sent the second defendant to Agboju Market to buy the instruments they used for the operation, a few days before Cynthia was killed.

“The second defendant (Ezike), after getting the items and while still at the market, used his phone to snap them and forwarded the picture to the first defendant (Nwabufo).

“He equally sent Nwabufo a text message from his phone asking if this was the chain and cellotape you asked me to buy.

“Nwabufo replied Ezike that it will be okay for the job, the messages are all in their phones,’’ Edo said.

The witness also told the court that he discovered that the third defendant, Orji Osita, who is a pharmacist, aided the primary suspects to commit the crime by supplying them the Rohypnol used in subduing the deceased, before they carried out the killing.

He said the fourth defendant, Nonso Ezike, dishonestly received Cynthia’s Blackberrycell phone from his elder brother, who is the second defendant.

“It was discovered that it was not the first phone he (Nonso) bought from the second defendant and he has knowledge of the first and second defendants’ stock-in-trade.

“They specialise in bringing ladies into hotel rooms, enticing them with one or two things and then rape them,” Mr. Edo said.

Earlier, Justice Akinlade admitted in evidence the confessional statements and video evidence made at the Festac Police Station on August 20, 2012 by Nwabufo and Ezike, admitting the murder.

In a ruling delivered on the admissibility of the statements made by the first and second defendants, after they alleged that their statements were gotten under duress, Justice Akinlade held that their allegations before the court were concocted as there was no evidence to buttress their claims.

The judge added that from her examination of the confessional statements, the handwritings of the defendant did not show they were under torture to write them.

“The defendants were questioned in an open place and were also asked by the Area Commander if they made their statements voluntarily, which they attested in the affirmative.

“Moreover, from the video evidence, the defendants looked well and untortured.

“It was when the Area Commander realised their narration was the same that he requested for a cameraman to video them,” she said.

She added that the prosecution had proven its case in the trial-within-trial to determine the admissibility of the confessional statements made by the first and second defendants.

“I hereby admit the confessional statements and video evidence made by the defendants and tendered by the prosecution as exhibits’’ Akinlade held.

Ms. Akinlade adjourned the case till March 13, for continuation of trial.

(NAN)


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