The trial of suspected ritualist, Ifeanyi Dike, commenced on Friday at the Rivers State High Court 9, where he was arraigned before Justice Adolphus Enebeli.
Ifeanyi Dike allegedly murdered 8-year-old girl, Chikamso Favour in August 2017, after raping and harvesting her genitals. Also arraigned before Justice Adolphus Enebeli are: Ogochukwu Nnamiro (2nd accused person) and Sergeant Johnbosco Okoroeze (3rd accused person). They were arraigned as accessories after the fact.
A mild drama ensued in court as Ifeanyi Dike, screamed after his case was mentioned. Thereafter, he refused to take his plea. His counsel, Lizinna Ameegua urged the court to order that a mental examination be carried out on him to ascertain his mental status. Justice Enebeli declined the request.
Thereafter, Dike collapsed in court. The court entered a plea of not guilty for him, while the second and third accused persons pleaded not guilty. The matter was adjourned to January 16, 26 and 29, 2018 for definite hearing. Justice Enebeli said that the matter would be heard on a day to day basis.
Earlier in the court, counsel to Dike, Lizinna Ameegua raised objection to the trial on the ground that the information filed by the prosecution was incomplete. He urged the court to discharge the first accused person. The court however dismissed the objection.
Addressing journalists after the adjournment, Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Emmanuel Aguma, SAN said he expects the case to be heard expeditiously. He said that no party in the case is entitled to more than three adjournments in the course of the hearing, adding that one of the reasons for the adjournment on Friday was for Dike to get medical attention.
Secretary of the International Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA, Nnenna Igbokwe expressed confidence that justice will be done now that trial has commenced.