The Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has amended the terrorism charges preferred against the suspected killers of the traditional ruler of Amanze Obowo Autonomous Community of Imo State, Eze Basil Njoku.

Two suspects, Jude Iheme and Chika Madukwe, are currently standing trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja for the crime.

The duo were accused of killing the traditional ruler on December 17, 2022 while coming from the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia after kidnapping and collecting a ransom of N4m cash from his family.

In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/575/2024, Iheme and Madukwe alongside others said to be at large were said to have conspired to commit felony to wit, acts of terrorism contrary to Section 26 of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act 2022.

They were also said to have allegedly armed themselves with guns and offensive weapons, attacked, kidnapped, and killed the monarch on December 17, 2022.

 “That you, Jude Iheme ‘M’ 56 years of Amagwu Amanze Obowo LGA of Imo State, Chika Madukwe ‘M’ 42 years of Ndi-Uche Etiti, Onuimo LGA of Imo State and others now at large on about December 17, 2022 at the 71/2 Junction Umumegwu-Amanze village, Obowo LGA of Imo State, within the jurisdiction of this court, while acting in concert and armed with guns and other offensive weapons attacked, kidnapped and killed HRH Eze Basil Njoku of Amanze Obowo Autonomous Community in Imo State on his way from the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State having collected a ransom of N4m from his family and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 2(2) (f) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022,” the charge added.

The IGP also accused them of failing to volunteer information at their disposal to security agencies which could have led to the apprehension of other kidnappers contrary to Section 16 of the same Terrorism Act.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the offence.

 At the proceedings on Tuesday, counsel for the IG, Simon Lough (SAN), told the court that there was a need to amend the charges as more suspects had been arrested in connection with the case.

He requested a date for the other suspects to be brought to court to take a plea in the amended charges.

The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, granted the request and fixed March 12 for the fresh arraignment.

Nyako also ordered that the two defendants be remanded at the Kuje correctional centre in Abuja and be brought to court on the adjourned date.