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Court remands eight over cult activities, murder in Benue

They were charged with criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt, unlawful society and acts of terrorism.

• January 29, 2024
Gavel used to illustrate the story

A chief magistrates’ court in Makurdi has ordered that eight persons be remanded at the Nigeria correctional service centre in Benue State capital, 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 the Oju Local Government Area of Benue.

They were charged with criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt, unlawful society and acts of terrorism.

The suspect’s pleas were not taken for lack of jurisdiction when the case was mentioned on Monday.

The chief magistrate, Kelvin Mbanongun, adjourned the matter to March 14 for further mention.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Insp. Jonah Uletu told the court that the case was transferred from the Oju Division on January 10 to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Makurdi, via a letter dated January 9.

“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 macheted, 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 degree of injury but died on January 11,” he said.

Mr Uletu also said the defendants, who were arrested in connection with the crimes, allegedly confessed to being members of various cult groups terrorising Oju and its environs.

He said the offences contravened sections 97, 222, and 248 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004.

The prosecutor said they also contravened section 11(2) of the Abduction, Hostage-Taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Prohibition Law of Benue, 2017.


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