Five Sentenced to Death for Murder of Rivers Vigilante Commander

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has convicted and sentenced five individuals to death by hanging for the murder of Umezuruike Alex, the commander of a local vigilante group known as OSPAC in Omudioga community, Emohua Local Government Area of the state.

The court found Okechukwu Orji from Atali community in Obio-Akpor, Igwe Promise, Iheanyi Igwe, Morrison Igwe from Omudioga in Emohua LGA, and Goodness Monday from Akwa Ibom State guilty of 10 counts including conspiracy, cultism, murder, and illegal possession of firearms. They were sentenced to be hanged or injected with lethal injection until confirmed dead.

Justice Sika Aprioku, the trial Judge, discharged and acquitted the sixth defendant, Alex Deiwe.

Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, the prosecution counsel, Essien Edet, a legal officer at the Rivers State Police Command, expressed satisfaction with the judgment, calling it a well-deserved justice.

Edet emphasized that the judgment would serve as a deterrent to others involved in similar crimes, stating, “It is a lesson to all those that are going about committing heinous crimes, killing people, taking the lives of human beings as if such are not valuable that justice is also coming after them except they repent.”

The murder of Umezuruike Alex occurred in 2021 when he was killed, beheaded, and his body dismembered by cultists who perceived him as a threat to their criminal activities in the area.

OSPAC stands for Onelga Security Peace and Advisory Committee.