Four of the five suspects charged with culpable homicide for allegedly killing a security guard with the New Trafford Hotels and Suites in Bauchi, Sunday Joshua, have contracted COVID-19.
The late Joshua was allegedly murdered on the 25th of May, 2020 at the hotel after he was accused of stealing a handset.
He was allegedly tortured to death by his colleagues at the hotel in an attempt to make him confess to the crime, which he was said to have denied committing.
The arraignment of the five persons arrested by the police in connection with Joshua’s murder, the Managing Director of the hotel, Innocent Ejeh; Abdul-Rasheed Shuaibu; Jacob Joshua; Joshua Ibrahim and Timothy Yunusa, before Bauchi Chief Magistrate’s Court 7 at Yelwa today could not hold.
The arraignment was stalled following a letter, dated 11th June 2020, sent to the Magistrate’s Court by the Bauchi correctional centre of the Nigeria Correctional Service, informing the court that four of the suspects have tested positive to the dreaded COVID-19.
At the sitting, the prosecuting counsel, Sergeant Ayuba, informed the court that the accused were absent, adding that their absence might not be unconnected with a letter from the correctional centre in Bauchi.
The prosecutor said the accused were remanded in the centre by the court at the sittings of 5th and 8th June.
He, therefore, sought an adjournment for the accused persons to be brought to court.
According to the letter, which was read in the court by Chief Magistrate Safiya Salihu, four of the accused, Abdul-Rasheed Shuaibu; Jacob Joshua; Joshua Ibrahim and Timothy Yunusa, have contracted the dreaded disease.
The letter added that they were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Based on the development, Chief Magistrate Salihu adjourned the case till 14th June 2020 for further mentioning and arraignment.
It was reported that the First Information Report (FIR) for the case before the court shows that it is between the Commissioner of Police and Innocent Ejeh and four others.
The FIR said the five accused persons are charged with criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide in accordance with Sections 96 and 221 of the Penal Code Laws.