ASP TO DIE BY HANGING
A dismissed Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr. Benard Alifi has been sentenced to death by hanging by a High Court sitting in Abakaliki for murder and other criminal count charge levelled against him.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Obande Ogbuinya of court five said the prosecution, having proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, he pronounced the accused guilty of the murder of one Chinwendu Micha.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr. I. P. Chima, had called for five witnesses, three of whom were eyewitnesses and two police officers who were alleged to be on patrol with the accused ASP the day the boy was shot.
Other witness presented by the prosecuting counsel was Mr. Bernard Mbam whom the deceased, an undergraduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, allegedly visited on the night he was murdered.
Daily Sun gathered that Alifi had been standing trial for the murder charge since 2004 when he was accused of unprovoked murder of the deceased, Chinwendu Micha, a 23-year-old, who was until his death, second year student in the university. The deceased was killed by the police ASP, when he visited his friend, Mr. Bernard Mbam who was a councillorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2004 local government elections in the state.
It was also gathered that on the day of the local government election in 2004, the deceased and his friend Bernard were at the polling booth located opposite the bushy area of Odunukwe Street, Coca Cola depot, along Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway, when suddenly a team of police officers, led by Alifi came and shot Micha.
The defence counsel, C. O. Z. Obiekwe, put a spirited fight to defend his client and absolve him of the murder of Micha whom he had told the court was murdered by a bullet from another police officer whose identity he did not disclose.
According to the submission of the defence counsel, since there were many policemen on patrol that day, it could be possible that the deceased could have been killed by any police officer and not Alifi, the accused.
Under cross examination, the accused police ASP admitted that he had killed both innocent and suspected criminals in the cause of his duty when he was operating as one of the policemen attached to the government house.
Daily Sun also gathered that Alifi, who was attached to Ebonyi State Government House, had on that day of the local government election allegedly taken permission from the ADC to the former governor on the ground that he had information that there were groups of criminals coming to disrupt the election. However, the ADC to the former governor had earlier, through a written statement, denied any such statement and allegation that he permitted the accused to go on patrol on the day the deceased was murdered.