The absence of suspects has stalled the trial of four persons over the murder of one Chidi Onwukwe at the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
The suspects, Samuel Onwukwe, Andrew Otanye, Samuel Emmason and Promise George are standing trial over their alleged involvement in the killing of Onwukwe.
Prosecuting counsel, Essien Edet, expressed regret that the Investigative Police Officer, IPO, could not bring Samuel, the only suspect in detention, to court, adding that others were not also in court to take their plea.
The trial judge, Justice Sylvester Popnen, urged the prosecutor to prepare himself for the matter and be acquainted with the procedures of administration of criminal justice.
The court advised the prosecutor to ensure he serves the process on the defence to enable them to appear in court to take their plea and adjourned June 17, 2022.
Recall that a Port Harcourt High Court had adjourned the case against 11 murder suspects for the killing of four University of Port Harcourt students in Aluu community.
The suspects are facing trial for their alleged involvement in the murder of the students in the community on October 2021.
Three of the suspects could not engage the services of lawyers and as a result the court could not take the pleas of the accused persons.
Adjourning the case, the judge, Ledan Nyordee, asked the three whether they would defend themselves or seek the services of lawyers.
They said they would need the services of lawyers.
The judge, thereafter, referred the matter to Legal Aids Council to assign lawyers to defend the accused persons in their trial.
Onueze Okocha, counsel to eight of the accused persons had argued that the suspects should be tried separately rather than ‘’lump’’ them together.
‘’We have bail application for eight of the accused,’’ he said.
Rufus Godwin, the Rivers Solicitor–General, who led the prosecution team, said the application was premature as the pleas of the accused had yet to be taken.
He argued that every step in crime prosecution counted, saying, applications could only be accepted after pleas had been taking.