The trial of suspected ritualist, Ifeanyi Dike, who allegedly murdered his 8-year old girl niece, Chikamso Favour in August 2017, after raping her and harvesting her genitals commenced on Friday at the Rivers State High Court Number 9.
He was arraigned before Justice Adolphus Enebeli. Also arraigned before Justice Adolphus Enebeli are: Ogochukwu Nnamiro (Second Accused Person) and Sergeant Johnbosco Okoroeze (Third Accused Person). They were arraigned as accessories after the fact.
A mild drama ensued in court as Ifeanyi Dike, gave a loud shout 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, Ifeanyi 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, Counsel to Ifeanyi Dike, Lizinna Ameegua objected to his trial on the ground that the information filed by the prosecution was incomplete and subsequently urged the court to discharge the first accused person. The objection was dismissed by the Court.
Addressing journalists after the adjournment, Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for 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.
He said one of the reasons for the adjournment on Friday was for Ifeanyi Dike to get medical attention.
Secretary of the International Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA, Barrister Nnenna Igbokwe expressed confidence that justice will be achieved now that trial has commenced.