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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Angus Okoye: RULAAC petitions Anambra CJ, urges case assignment - ITREALMS


ITREALMS:

The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has petitioned the Chief Judge of Anambra urging the assignment of the Angus Okoye's case, who was murdered with high-profile suspect arrested and released without due process, reports ITREALMS.

According to RULAAC petition available to ITREALMS, entitled "RULAAC Calls on the Chief Judge of Ananbra State to promptly assign the case of murder of Angus Okoye by Anthony Onyeagolu and others already filed before the Anambra State High Court by the Legal Department of the Anambra State Police Command in order to scuttle the unrelenting plots by the wealthy prime murder suspect to escape arraignment and prosecution" and dated Sunday 24, May 2020.


RULAAC alleged that action of the Anambra State Police Command negates due process in the murder case, recalling that on April 23, 2020, the centre raised alarm exposing the underhand and odious action by the Commissioner of Police (CP), Legal Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja CP Austin Sanomi, who lagedly ordered the release, "at midnight hours, of a wealthy murder suspect Anthony Onyeagolu from custody at SCID Awka."

Onyeagolu and his co-accused, RULAAC said, were awaiting arraignment after investigation into how he "as mastermind and others murdered Angus Okoye in their community, Isuaniocha, Awka North LGA, Anambra State."

RULAAC noted that following the uncovering of this shocking surreptitious release and the alarm raised by RULAAC and the ensuing media attention, the DIG FCID, Force Headquarters ordered the immediate re-arrest and return to custody of the suspect and his co-accused persons and their immediate arraignment at the Anambra State High Court for murder.

"Further, in their desperate bid to deliver on a paid devious assignment, the CP Legal and his cohort hatched another nefarious plot to suppress the murder charge by preferring a lesser charge of attempted murder against the murder mastermind. The CP Legal has also been accused of altering the police investigation report and compromised the entire case file in order to shield and provide an escape route for the wealthy and desperate prime suspect.

The petition stated that "Again, the nefarious plot to change the charge from murder to attempted murder was exposed and scuttled following an SOS sent by the family representative of the victim to the DIG FCID who ordered that the accused be immediately arraigned for murder."

RULAAC pointed out that on May 15, the CP Anambra, CP John Abang, in demonstration of his commitment to allow justice prevail, summoned the O/C Legal, Anambra State Command and gave him a firm directive to immediately file murder charges against the accused.

The O/C Legal, Anambra State Command, Awka has confirmed to RULAAC that "the case has been charged in line with the CP's directive," adding that "If you file a charge at the High court, you wait till the case is assigned to a court by the CJ. As soon as the assignment is done the prosecutor will go to the court where the matter is assigned and obtain a date for the arraignment. So, right now, the matter is in court and there is no going back."

We have further information that the wealthy prime murder suspect and his two co-accused, in their unrelenting desperation to evade arraignment and trial for murder, have filed three fundamental human rights applications before three different High Court Judges in Onitsha Anambra State respectively for each of them.

While we concede to them their entitlement to their fundamental rights including the right to approach the High Courts for the enforcement of their rights, we are only concerned by the revelation that they have filed false information to the courts with a view to misleading the courts to hear and grant them reliefs based on false claims about the nature of their crime and the location of their arrest.

This is therefore, to put the Chief Judge of Anambra State on notice to be alert to ensure the scrutiny of claims in any application brought by Anthony Onyeagolu and his accomplices and to ensure that both the Police and the complainants in the murder case are put on notice before considering and granting any prayers that the murder suspects may bring before the courts.

This is to ensure that suspects in heinous multiple crimes of murder and attempted murder are not allowed to manipulate and use the judiciary to escape justice.

ITREALMS further recalled that a wealthy murder suspect, Anthony Onyeagolu, who is awaiting arraignment and trial for the murder of one Angus Okoye, was freed by the police on 20/04/2020.

Onyeagolu, 
ITREALMS gathered was released by the Officer in Charge of Legal Matters, Anambra Command following the directive of the Commissioner of Police in charge of Legal Matters, Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, Mr Augustine Sanomi.

Okoye, a 48-year-old businessman, was killed after being kidnapped at about 1:30 am on December 16, 2018 at his home in Ifite Isu Village, Isuaniocha, under Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

His family members said he was killed for being the star witness in a case of N100m fraud instituted by the community through the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Onyeagolu.

One Chidiebere Okoye, an indigene of the community, who was one of those kidnapped, tortured, shot and presumed dead, survived and was invited by the police to make statement on the incident where he indicted Onyeagolu.

Okoye also named others linked to the incident to include Boniface Enweani, Augustine Adigwe, Mr Moses Emebo, Stephen Ibeania and others.

Elder George Okoye, elder brother to the deceased, in a save our soul message sent to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Michael Ogbizi, said the family members and community had been thrown into sorrow with the release of the principal suspect.

Okoye narrated the trajectory of the murder and the tortuous efforts to get the police to arrest the suspects and investigate them.

He said, “We petitioned the Force Headquarters on 3/1/19 over the alleged murder of our brother, Angus Okoye, in Isuaniocha, Awka, by Anthony Onyeagolu and others.

“A long drawn investigation by officer Amuche, who is now with the IGP Monitoring Unit, was frustrated by a former DC now CP Anyim of Homicide.

“We were ridiculed as a poor family while our brother's dead body lies in the mortuary till date. God touched your heart, out of our prayers we received a call from the IPO Bitrus sometime in September 2019, who said you invited us to revisit our case under DC Anyim.

“We were reluctant because we knew the end would be like this under the same Ayim, now CP in the same case.

“But we were later convinced by Bitrus to come, which we did and actually the three suspects were arrested a year after the murder.

“After concluding the investigation by the IPO under the same CP Ayim, the case was again killed in connivance with the CP Legal.

“Right now, the murderers are enjoying freedom without going to court, having been released in the midnight of April 20 in suspected circumstance due to their compromise as usual.

“Sir, where is your promise that the deceased family will get justice.

“The same murderer-in-chief was released from SCID Awka in readiness for arraignment that led to the killing of my brother.

“Worst still, the case file was emptied by your legal men in connivance with your CP to get soft landing in court for their wealthy benefactor which they could not even wait to arraign to justify their own side of the bargain with him.”

The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre called on the Police Service Commission to order a prompt, exhaustive and effective investigation into the release of Onyeagolu while awaiting arraignment and trial for murder on the orders of Sanomia.

The Executive Director, RULAAC, Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, who made this call in a statement, said the investigation was with a view to determining the grounds and motive, if any, upon which the suspect could be released at midnight and to determine whether indeed the case file had been tampered with as alleged and appropriate remedial and disciplinary action taken.

Nwanguma noted that upon receiving this information, RULAAC first made contacts with the SCID in Awka and confirmed that the suspect was actually released at odd hours but without the knowledge of the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, Mr John Abang.

According to him, “RULAAC made several calls, texted and sent WhatsApp messages to Mr Austin Sanomia, CP Legal, Force Headquarters, Abuja, to verify the information that he ordered the release and to understand why, but has received no answer or reply till the time of issuing this alert.

“Our repeated efforts to get the CP Legal to confirm or rebut the information have not yielded any result.

“We then also sent the information to the DIG FCID, Michael Ogbizi...”

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