Court frees remaining Ozubulu church killing suspects

An Anambra State High  in Awka  on Monday  discharged and  acquitted the  remaining   two suspects charged with  the killing of 13 worshipers at St. Philips Catholic Church Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state on August 6,2017.

In a three-hour judgement, Justice Fidelis Aniukwu discharged and acquitted    Chinedu Akpunonu and Onyebuchi Mbanefo  after  the prosecution counsel  failed  to prove  his  case against them beyond a reasonable doubt.

The court in December 2018 discharged two out of the four suspects arraigned  for the killing of the worshippers.

Justice Aniukwu said  the prosecution witnesses could not “provide any evidence linking the defendants with the murder as alleged”.

 Samuel Echeakputa, who represented the  defence counsel, Mr Festus Kayemo (SAN),   hailed  the judgment.

He said,  “It’s the prosecution’s right to appeal the judgment. But from what I witnessed in  court today, it will be very difficult for the Appeal Court to upturn the judgment.”

Akpunonu,  who also hailed the judgment,  said he was happy to have been   vindicated.

He said he had forgiven those he said attempted  to damage his reputation.

He said, “From the beginning, I told my people that I was not involved in the killing. But the Lord has given me victory as a proof that I’m very innocent.

“I didn’t know I was very important to my people until I saw excitement in the faces of the crowd that came to court.

“I thank those that stood by me throughout my travails. I also thank my lawyer and the judge for delivering a fair and sound judgement.”

The prosecution counsel, Mr Jay Jay Ezeuko  (SAN),  said he would determine the next step to take after receiving a copy of the judgment.
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