A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has convicted and sentenced to death by hanging one Sodeinye Mbatumukeke for murdering a Jumia delivery agent, Chukkwuma Eleji.
Justice I. P. Chigoezi-Igwe, while delivering judgment on Monday, Feb 15, in Port Harcourt discharged and acquitted the second defendant in the case, Divine Naabe, of the murder and robbery charges.
The convict, Mr. Sodienye Mbatumukeke was arrested alongside his friends, Mr. Divine Excel Naabe and Miss Joy Eluwa for the murder of the delivery agent, Chukwuma Eleje who was said to have delivered expensive smartphones which they ordered online to the convict’s apartment before he was attacked and killed in March 2017.
His body was recovered in a septic tank in the apartment on Ada-George Road in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on March 27, 2017.
The female suspect, Joy Eluwa, said to be the girlfriend of the convict was, however, released while the two male suspects went on trial.
Almost four years into the trial, the presiding Judge, Justice I. P. Chigoezi-Igwe found Mr. Mbatumukeke guilty on two counts of murder and armed robbery.
Chigoezi-Igwe in his judgment said the prosecution team was able to prove their case and convinced the court that Mbatumukeke killed the Jumia agent.
The judge ruled that even though the convict was rejecting the confessional and extra-judicial statements he earlier made in the matter, the evidence provided was weighty enough to prove that he (Mbatumukeke) murdered the Jumia delivery agent.
The Judge also found him guilty of the second charge, armed robbery, describing the murder of the Jumia delivery agent as unlawful and gruesome.
He then sentenced the prime suspect to death by hanging, noting that the sentence will serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements.
Chigoezi-igwe, however, discharged and acquitted Naabe of murder and robbery charges, noting that there were doubts in the evidence provided by the prosecution team to find the second Defendant guilty of the crimes.