Nigerian nun faces capital murder charge

Four staff members, including a nun, from Caritas University, Nigeria, have been charged with conspiracy to murder a first year science student at the religious congregation-owned institution.

The Nigerian newspaper Vanguard reports that the four staff members were arraigned last week at a Magistrate Court in the city of Nike for alleged involvement in the murder of a first year computer science student, Kachisicho Paul Okafor.

The accused persons who were all present in court were Chukwuma Nweke, 40, Ugwu Philip Anayo, 29, Onah Annestecia, 25, and Rev Sr Fidema C, 25.

The Caritas University, established last year, is owned by the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus the Saviour.

The accused who are standing trial on a two-court charges of conspiracy to murder and administration of drugs not prescribed by a medical doctor to the deceased were remanded in police custody till today when the magistrate is expected to rule on whether he has the power to grant the accused persons bail or not in such a case.

The Counsel for the accused had argued that, "in as much as the case is a binding over matter, it does not stop the court from granting the accused bail if it deemed it fit."

He further argued that the charge sheet as presented by the prosecution implied that the accused committed manslaughter and not murder as they would want the court to believe.

"What we are asking from the court is freedom for the accused persons pending the substantive hearing of the matter either at the High Court or Supreme Court".

The prosecutor, Sergeant Innocent Egbuaba insisted that the offence committed by the accused was murder and not manslaughter, saying that the penalty for such offence was death under Nigerian law.

Nigeria: Nun, Others Arraigned for Murder (AllAfrica, 27/10/06)
Nigeria: Nun, Others Arraigned for Murder (Vanguard, 27/10/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
List of Nigerian universities (Wikipedia)
Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria

Excitement as seven private varsities receive licences (Nigerian Muse, 13/1/05)

30 Oct 2006