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Crime & Justice

Court remands nine for ‘robbery, killing’ police officer

BY Bolanle Olabimtan

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A chief magistrates’ court in Makurdi, Benue state, has ordered the remand of nine persons in a correction centre for allegedly robbing and killing Peter Ilonye, a police inspector.

The suspects are facing charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms, and culpable homicide.

At the session on Thursday, Godwin Ato, prosecution counsel, told the court that the case was received at the state CID, Makurdi on March 1, 2023, from operation zenda joint task force headquarters, Makurdi.

It was reported that the deceased, an officer attached to operation zenda JTF, was riding on his motorcycle from Taraku to Aliade town when he ran into the gang of armed robbers who had blocked the road at Jiwunde village and were robbing motorists of their belongings.

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The suspects shot the police officer in the stomach and carted away his service AK-47 rifle with breech number NH347439 loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.

Ilonye was later confirmed dead as a result of the gunshot.

Prosecutor said the defendants, Alam Timothy, Ushahemba Tarveem, Ternenge Zafefa, Aondonenge Tyozenda, Zakpe Alfred, James Akange, Terdoo Ikpur, Aondohemba Torto, and Jennifer Terna were arrested during police investigation for committing the offences.

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Two AK-47 rifles, four locally made pistols, seven single barrel guns, 67 rounds of 7.62×39 mm live ammunition, and three magazines were recovered from the suspects.

Also recovered were four expended cartridges, 21 live cartridges, four pairs of military camouflage, and a pair of mobile police uniforms were recovered from the defendants.

The suspects, however, could not take their plea for want in the jurisdiction.

Roseline Iyorshe, presiding magistrate, adjourned the matter until May 15, 2023, for further mention.

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