Chief Magistrate Nnenna Onuoha of a Magistrates’ Court in Ebonyi, on Friday, January 3, 2019, remanded a barber, Christian Nweke, in a correctional facility for beheading a two-year-old boy, Onyedikachi Nwali.
Punch reports that the suspect who had confessed to the crime, beheaded the boy and at the same time, drank his blood, while the mother of the victim went to fetch water from a stream.
The incident happened last year (2019), December 13, when the suspect was brought to the Church of Christ Mission, Ugbaenyim Ezza, Umuhuali community, in the Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi, due to a chest pain.
Unfortunately, Nweke’s victim and his parents were also seeking spiritual help at the church, during the time the suspect was brought in.
When asked if he was a ritualist or sent to kill and suck the blood of the boy for money rituals, Nweke said, “No. I’m not a ritualist. Nobody sent me to kill anybody. But I noticed that since the prophetess of this prayer ministry prayed for me, a lot of things have changed and I no longer reason right.”
After spending about three weeks in police custody, the suspect was arraigned before the magistrates’ court on one count of murder.
The police prosecutor, Sergeant Sebastine Alumona, said the offence was punishable under Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
The defence counsel applied to the court that his client be admitted to bail as he would not interfere with lawful investigation into the matter.
Alumona, however, opposed the bail application and told the court that the suspect would jump bail and interfere with investigation into the matter.
In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate said the court lacked the jurisdiction to grant bail on such cases, after which she directed that the accused be remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, while his case file should be transferred to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the state for advice.
Onuoha adjourned the matter till January 17, 2020, for the report of compliance.