You cannot take someone’s precious life and expect to live yours with impunity, the laws of the land will surely deal with you no matter how long it takes.
That’s what the ruling of a high court in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s Rivers State appears to have underscored as it sentenced a second-year student of Physics department at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Ifeanyi Dike, and one Ugochukwu Nwamiro to death by hanging for killing an eight-year-old girl, Victory Chikamso Nmezuwuba.
The two convicts were sentenced to death by hanging without an option of fine, according to Gistreel.com.
Dike, who was aged 23 years when the incident happened in 2017, was apprehended by a local vigilante group in Eliozu axis of Port Harcourt with a sack containing Chikamso’s body following a tip-off. The local security outfit later handed Dike over to the police for further investigations and prosecution.
He (Dike) reportedly removed the victim’s eyes, vagina, finger and tongue, after defiling and murdering her with the assistance of his cousin, Ugochukwu.
Few days after he was handed over to the police, Dike escaped from the premises of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), with the aid of police personnel on duty, Sgt Johnbosco Okoronze, who failed to handcuff the suspect after he had finished writing his statement.
Dike’s escape triggered severe criticisms and condemnation compelling the then Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed to describe it as unfortunate and an embarrassment to the police force.
Dike was however rearrested some weeks later in Jos, Plateau State capital by security operatives and was brought back to Port Harcourt for trial during which the police prosecutor, Sgt. Blessing Oheyen, tendered the body parts of the victim as evidence to the court.
About three years after the trial commenced, the judge, Justice Adolphus Enebele has ruled that the evidence before the court showed that the duo conspired and murdered Chimkamso and hence, sentenced them to death.
For aiding the escape of Dike from police custody, the court also sentenced Sergeant Johnbosco Okoronze of the State CID to one-year imprisonment.
Interestingly, the family of the victim, Chikamso, expressed relief on the judgment while relatives of Dike were seen in court weeping after the judgment was passed.
Reports say both Dike and the victim lived on Messiah Street, Eliozu in Port Harcourt.
Father of the slain girl, Ernest Nmezuwuba, had in 2017 told the police he was filled with grief after seeing the mutilated body of his daughter. He expressed shock that Dike could contemplate killing his daughter. “The man who killed my daughter is like my brother, someone very close to me, I can call him my cousin.”
He recalled that Chikamso had requested bread for breakfast, which he bought for her before he left for work.
He added that when he returned home and learnt about his daughter’s missing, he immediately began a search but thought it wise to report the matter to the police.
“So, around 1:30 a.m. security men said that they had seen my daughter and that I should come and see the man that kidnapped her. I was in my shorts and I rushed to the place with the security agents. I was told that the person that killed my daughter was caught while carrying a load in a sack. The policemen said when they confronted him, he said he wanted to take it to the dustbin.
“When I got there, I asked: where is my daughter? They showed me a sack. As I opened it, I saw my daughter; I peeped and watched very well, the two eyes were off, the tongue was gone, one of the breasts was off, one of the fingers, the smaller one, was off. I watched it at the centre, he had carved it (vagina) out. As I turned back and saw him, he (Dike) was looking at the ground.”