A Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Aba North Local Government Area of Abia State has adjourned sine die, the case of a Fulani herdsman who attempted murdering a widow (Esther Ibem Nmecha) in the commercial city.
The court also transferred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for further action while the culprit is remanded in custody.
A Fulani herdsman, Salisu Garuba, has in an attempt to kill a woman in Aba, identified as Mrs. Esther Ibem Nmecha, a fortnight ago chopped off her three fingers.
It was gathered that the herder had taken his cattle to the business premises of the woman identified as Mrs. Esther Ibenmecha at No. 1 Pepples road in Ogbor Hill, Aba, for pasture.
It was reported that the woman who hails from Ohafia in Ohafia Local Government of the state, politely asked the herder to take the cattle away as not to disrupt her business.
Garuba was said to be adamant and when Mrs. Ibem Nmecha insisted the cows must be taken away from her business premises, the herder allegedly first hit her with a stick.
As if that was not enough, the Fulani herdsman was said to have immediately reached for his machete and attempted severing Mrs. Ibem Nmecha’s head, but the woman used her hand to block the machete which resulted in the cutting off of her three fingers.
The herder was arraigned penultimate week at Chief Magistrate Court 4, Aba North where the presiding Chief Magistrate, Callistus Eluwa, reminded him in Aba Prisons, transferred the case file to the DPP and ordered that the prosecution should make a report of compliance to the court.
When the matter came up again for hearing yesterday, the prosecution reported that the court’s order was carried out and prayed for the matter to be transferred to the DPP for further advice.
In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Eluwa said although his court has jurisdiction to entertain the matter, but since the suspect was not represented in court by any counsel, he had no option than to transfer the case file to the DPP so that Garuba could be tried in a High court where he could be represented by a lawyer.
He therefore adjourned the matter sine die pending when the DPP will take action and ordered that the suspect be remanded in prison.
Lawyer to the injured woman, Victor Onweremmadu, in aligning with the ruling of the court said although the Fulani herdsman has agreed to cutting off of Esther’s fingers, it was trite in law that he should be represented by a defence counsel.
He said since the matter has been transferred to the DPP, it behooves on the office of the DPP to file information to the High court where the suspect should be tried and possibly assign a defence counsel to him.
Chief Oji Oji Kalu, the president of Esther’s Ohafia community in Aba who was in court said his people are happy that the suspect has been arraigned.
While calling on government to stop the incessant killings and maiming by Fulani herdsmen across the country, he however called for the expeditious prosecution of the suspect for justice to be done.
He promised to ensure that the peace existing between Ohafia people and herdsmen in the area is maintained.