Eleje, who had gone to deliver phones to the assailants, was allegedly killed on March 25, by the suspects identified as Sodienye Mbatumukeke and Excel Naabe, who also threw his body into a septic tank.
They were arraigned on 3 counts before Chief Magistrate Amadi Amadi-Nna. The charge read;
“That you, Sodienye Mbatumukeke, on March 25, 2017, on Ada-Ede Street, Shell Location Mgbuoba, Port Harcourt, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did use a pestle to hit the head of one Eleje Chukwuma, and robbed him of one Infinix Note 3 handset valued at N67,000, one IM-10 desktop GSM phone dual SIM, valued at N9,500, and one Gionee M6 phone, valued at N105,000; all valued at N181,000.00, property of Jumia Online Shopping Company, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 1 (2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“That you, Sodienye Mbatumukeke and Excel Divine Naabe, on the same date and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony, to wit: murder, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.
“That you, Sodienye Mbatumukeke and Excel Divine Naabe, on the same date and place in the aforesaid magisterial district, did murder one Eleje Chukwuma, by hitting him on the head with a pestle and subsequently suffocated him by covering his head with a polythene bag, before tying him with a wire, which caused his death, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.”
The accused were arraigned by a prosceutor, Inspector Jonas Rufus, even as they (suspects) were without any defence counsel.
The third accused, Joy Eluwa, was not part of Monday’s arraignment in Port Harcourt.
However, when the case was mentioned in the court, the presiding magistrate, Amadi-Nna, stated that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter as a result of the gravity of the offence.
Saying he would send the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice, Amadi-Nna adjourned the matter indefinitely.