The Rivers State Police Command has arraigned Sergeant Bitrus Osaiah before a Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt, for allegedly killing 33-year-old Sergeant Lovender Elekwechi, at Eneka roundabout, in Obio Akpor local government area of the state.
Bitrus Osaiah, is alleged to have shot unprovocably at Lovender Elekwechi on 23rd April, while discharging her lawful duty as a traffic Officer at Eneka Market Roundabout, Eneka Town.
The Defendant faces a murder charge punishable under section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.
The Defendant while taking his plea, told the court that he did not kill Sergeant Lovender Elekwechi, and is not aware of the killing, stressing that his riffle was fully loaded with the 29 rounds he booked that morning before leaving for patrol with the taskforce operatives.
The Police Investigative Officer in charge of the matter told the court that Sergeant Bitrus Osaiah’s riffle was collected and checked after the incident , and only 15 rounds were left out of the 29 rounds he booked.
The Presiding Magistrate, Chief Magistrate I.F Iyiabo, ruled that the court does not have the jurisdiction to try the matter as it is a capital offence, and referred the case file to the Director Public Prosecution for legal advise.
Magistrate I.F Iyiabo remanded Bitrus Osaiah in Police custody at the State Criminal Investigation Department due to COVID-19, and adjourned the case to 26th may.
Speaking to our correspondent, Tina Amanda, Jerome Okere, Counsel to the Plaintiff’s Family said Justice must be done in the matter, while urging the Police to ensure that the appropriate thing is done for the deceased family by compensating them.
He said further that the deceased, Lovender Elekwachi, left a little baby of two-year-old, aged mother and father whom the deceased cattered for before her demise.
Also Speaking, the Police Prosecution, Counsel, SP Gladys Imegu, said the court has jurisdiction to remand, but does not have jurisdiction to try the matter.