A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has sentenced one Ifeanyichukwu Maxwell Dike and his accomplice, Ugochukwu Nwamiro to death by hanging for the murder of an eight-year-old girl, Victory Chikamso.
Dike, a resident of the Eliozu area of Port Harcourt, had abducted his neighbour’s daughter on Friday, August 18, 2017, raped and killed her before cutting off her vital parts.
Dike was caught by a vigilante group after he stuffed the remains of the girl in a polythene bag which he attempted to dump in the bush.
The convict, however, escaped from police custody and fled to Plateau State, where he was rearrested and brought back to Port Harcourt.
Delivering judgment on Wednesday, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, ordered that the 26-year-old 200-level student of the Department of Physics, University of Port Harcourt, should be hanged by the neck, while Nwamiro should be hanged by his legs.
Justice Enebeli also sentenced a dismissed policeman, Johnbosco Okoronze, to one year imprisonment for aiding Dike to escape from police custody.
The judge stated that Okoronze was sentenced to only one year in jail because he had already served two years in prison after his dismissal from the Nigeria Police Force.
Justice Enebeli said his judgment against the second defendant, Nwamiro, was based on the confessional statement made by Dike that he was asked to cut the little girl’s sensitive organs for financial charm.
The court ruled that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, adding that the counsel for the first defendant, Lezina Amegwa, in his first written address, did not deny the fact that his client committed the offence, but said it was as a result of insanity.
Speaking with journalists after the court session, the state prosecution counsel, Chidi Eke, said, “It is a landmark judgment that has brought about justice for the state and the family of the late Victory Chikamso.”
But the counsel for Nwamiro, Mr John Ndah, expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment and hinted at an appeal, even as Amegwa said he might not appeal the judgment against Dike because of the circumstances of the case.