Court remands UNIPORT student accused of killing girlfriend for money ritual

Grace Ihesiulo
3 Min Read

A Magistrate Court has remanded a 400-level student of Petrochemical Engineering in the University of Port Harcourt, Damian Okoligwe, who was accused of killing his girlfriend, Justina Otuene, a 300-level student of Biochemistry at the same university.

When the matter came up on Monday, the prosecuting counsel appealed to the court to remand the accused based on the gravity of the offense, a request which was not objected to by the defense counsel, O.G. Nweke.

Chief Magistrate Nnenda Obiageri-Onugbum, after listening to both counsels in the matter ruled that the accused, Okoligwe be remanded in the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre and ordered that the case file be transferred to the Department of Public Prosecution, DPP, for legal advice.

Chief Magistrate Obiageri-Onugbum thereafter adjourned the case to 15th December 2023 for the DPP report.

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Okoligwe was arrested by the police after his neighbours raised an alarm over his attempt to dispose of the body of his girlfriend, Justina, who he allegedly killed for money ritual.

He was earlier paraded at the Rivers State Police Command headquarters in Port Harcout, where he admitted that his girlfriend died in his house.

Meanwhile, In a post-publication interview with the Financial Times, Professor Soyinka said he wrote the book “to confront Nigeria with its true image.” Indeed, Sir Ben Okri, the recently knighted Nigerian-British writer, described the book as Soyinka’s “magnus opus on the state of his homeland.” Of course, when someone writes a novel, he or she has no control over how the reader interprets it, more so when the novel is verisimilitude, having an appearance of reality. Therefore, for me, Professor Soyinka’s novel provides a powerful framework for analysing the 2023 presidential election, the Supreme Court verdict and Tinubu.

This article is also an attempt to confront Nigeria with its true image. Some, ostrich-like, ignore the reality, but this year’s presidential election and its fallouts will have far-reaching consequences for Nigeria’s democratic development and political stability. So, let’s examine the situation through the prism of Professor Soyinka’s extraordinary political novel.

The novel’s main character is Dennis Tibidje, who later changed his name to Papa Davina. The narrator describes Tibidje as “the man whose origins remained a cause for endless speculation.” He claimed Lagos ancestry, but “his explanation for claims of Lagos origins was that he was sired into a Lagos household.” Tibidje left Nigeria for America under mysterious circumstances but got into troubles with the US authorities. However, by the time he returned to Nigeria, Tibidje, a man with “all-engrossing ambition”, had assumed: “A new name. A new history. A new beginning. A new life.”

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