The police command in Abia on Wednesday arraigned a former lance corporal in the Nigerian Army, Johnson Ajayi, at an Umuahia Chief Magistrate Court on a one-count charge of unlawful killing.
Mr Ajayi, who was posted to Ohanze military checkpoint, allegedly shot and killed one Chimobi Nworgu, a commercial motorcyclist at his Umuokereke Ngwa Village in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia on August 7.
The accused was said to have trailed the deceased to his country home, where he reportedly shot him for allegedly failing to give N100 tip at the checkpoint.
He was said to have shot the deceased at a close range in the head, killing him on the spot.
Mr Ajayi, who reportedly fled the area after the act, was later arrested, tried and dismissed from the army. He was subsequently handed over to the Abia police command on August 21 for prosecution.
The police prosecutor, Adeyemi Olukoya, said Mr Ajayi was charged with unlawful killing of the deceased and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code Cap. 80. Vol. 3 Laws of Abia state 2005.
After the charge was read to him, the judge, Linda Ugbaja, asked him if he had a counsel. Responding, he told the court that “they did not allow me get one”.
Mr Ugbaja thereafter ordered that he be remanded in prison custody, saying that she lacked the jurisdiction to try the matter.
She also directed that the case file be transferred to the Department of Public Prosecution and adjourned to September 16 for the report of compliance.
Chibuzor Adiele, counsel to the deceased’s widow, Chiamaka, promised that the Ministry of Justice would file the case at the High Court which, according to him, has jurisdiction over it.
Meanwhile, the 19-year-old widow has appealed to the state and federal governments to ensure that her late husband’s killer did not escape justice.
Speaking in an interview with reporters on the court premises, the mother of two described her husband as the bread-winner of the family.
She said that she had yet to recover from the shock of his “gruesome murder”.
She solicited the assistance of the state government and good-spirited Nigerians, saying that she had no means to fend for her children. (NAN)