Their arraignment brought to 16, persons charged to court for the killing of the students, Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Chiadika Biringa, and Tekenah Elkanah.
The three suspects were brought under a five-count charge of conspiracy to kill the four students. Those arraigned were Finebone Jeffrey, 23; Joshua Ekpe, 27 and Abang Cyril, 27. Their pleas were not taken.
Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Woke, in a short ruling, said his court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case and adjourned the matter till February 28, 2013.
The other 13 suspects were brought to the court premises but did enter the court room.
Meantime, the Human Rights Council of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Port Harcourt branch, has applied for the case file of the suspects. Chairman of the branch, Mr. Austin Ojeukeudo, told newsmen at the court, that the association wants to ensure that there was no miscarriage of justice in the trial, adding that the body would monitor the trial to the end.
The charges preferred against the suspects, read “you and others at large on October 5, 2012, at Omuokiri, Aluu community in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: murder and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 laws of Rivers State, 1999.”