With two out of the four convicted suspects of the August 6, 2017 St Philips Catholic Church massacre in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra state which chained not fewer than 13 lives having received freedom back in December, 2018, the remaining two regained their freedom yesterday being the 15th day of April 2019.
A High Court sitting in Awka discharged and acquitted the two remaining suspects in a ruling that lasted for about three hours, Justice Fidelis Aniukwu stated that the prosecution counsel could not prove beyond reasonable doubt the allegations charged against Chinedu Akpunonu and Onyebuchi Mbanefo who are the defendants.
Justice Fidelis Aniukwu stood on the ground that the prosecuting witnesses were unable to come up with any evidence to prove that the defendants have a hand in the killings at St Philips Catholic Church in Ozubulu.
Reacting to the Ruling, Festus Keyamo SAN, who was represented in court by Mr Samuel Echeakputa described the judgement as ”a landmark” in a view of the accelerated hearing accorded to it. Keyamo said ”it’s the prosecutor’s right to judgement. But from what I witnessed in the court today, it will be very difficult for the appeal court to upturn the judgement”.
Mr Chinedu Akpunonu, one of the freed suspects who was full of joy told the press that he had always told his people that he knows nothing about the killings and he gives God all the praise for vindicting him and putting those that wanted to smear his image and reputation to shame. He went further to state that he had long forgiven his traducers, and urged them to unite and ensure that peace returns to the Ozubulu community. He also thanked those that stood by him for the love they showed him, his lawyer and the judge for passing a fair and sound judgement.
Mr Jay Jay Ezeuko, the prosecuting counsel stated that he will decide the next step after receiving a copy of the judgement.