Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Trial of policeman charged with UniJos student’s murder moved to September 19

The policeman shot and killed the student on May 12, 2020, in the company of his friends for an alleged violation of the COVID-19 lockdown in Jos.

• July 6, 2021
Nigerian police officers used to illustrate the story
Nigerian police officers used to illustrate the story

A Plateau High Court on Tuesday ordered a dismissed policeman, Auta Aruwa, to open his defence on September 19.

Mr Aruwa is charged with the murder of a 300 Level student of the University of Jos, Peter Rinji-Bala.

Justice David Mann gave the order after Garba Pwul, the prosecution counsel, closed his case on behalf of the Plateau government

Mr Mann fixed September 19 and 20 for the accused person to defend himself from the allegations following an application for adjournment raised by the defence counsel, Emmanuel Madaki.

“My Lord, with the prosecution closing their case today, I wish to humbly apply for ample time to enable us adequately prepare for the opening of our defence.

“So far we have five witnesses to take. We believe that when we return on the next adjourned date, it won’t take us more than two weeks to complete our defence,” he assured.

Mr Pwul, however, did not oppose the application for adjournment but said they were ready to hear them as it is their Constitutional right to be heard.

The prosecution alleged that Mr Aruwa shot and killed Mr Peter on May 12, 2020, in the company of his friends who were earlier arrested and released by personnel of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) for alleged violation of the Covid-19 lockdown in Jos.

Earlier, the seventh prosecution witness (PW7), Inspector Martha Bwodang, from the Plateau Criminal Investigation Department (CID), told the court that she was part of the team that investigated the alleged murder case of the UniJos student.

She said that the defendant admitted that he shot at Peter and his other four friends.

Ms Bwodang further told the court that the defendant used one bullet out of the 30 given to him.

She admitted that she failed to state the number of the AK47 riffle the defendant used in committing the crime.

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