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Murder Trial: Absence Of David West's Lawyer Stalls Proceedings

Hearing could not continue on Friday in murder trial of alleged serial killer, Gracious David West, as lawyer to accused did not show up in court.

Hearing could not continue on Friday in murder trial of alleged serial killer, Gracious David West, as lawyer to accused did not show up in court.

Vincent Chukwu failed to show up in court last Friday and appeared not to have contacted the court about his absence.

Presiding judge of the Port-Harcourt High Court, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, seemed disappointed that Chukwu was not in court on Friday but said that he could not withdraw from the case.

Chukwu had made appearances as counsel to the accused serial killer. At one of such appearances, he reminded the court of sum of sixty thousand naira belonging to his client allegedly held by police at time he was arrested.

He had told the court his client would need the money prompting Justice Enebeli to order the prosecuting counsel, Chidi Ekeh, to reach out to police about the sixty thousand naira allegedly held by them.

David West is facing trial for the alleged murder of women in hotels in Port-Harcourt and other cities in Nigeria. He faces nine counts of murder and one count of attempted murder and had pleaded not guilty to all the charges although he earlier pleaded guilty to nine charges of murder and not guilty to one charge of attempted murder.

A witness who testified against David West had said the alleged serial killer took belongings of his victims after killing them.

Police Sergeant Ogbomudia Emegbokuro, a prosecution witness, told the court that the alleged serial killer took the belongings of his victims such as phones, handbags, jewelry and cash.

He said the accused serial killer used kitchen knife to threaten his victims making them disclose their passwords with which he withdrew money from their accounts.

He stated these when he gave findings from investigation conducted by Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

 He said that the accused serial killer took the life of more than one victim in hotels in Oyigbo and in Port-Harcourt, adding the accused actually took the life of his victims.

He said a police team intercepted vehicle the alleged serial killer was travelling and had arrested him on way to Akwa Ibom State.

Emegbokuro said the alleged serial killer was questioned after the arrest and that he confessed to killing his victims.

The witness said that David West was interrogated by the Commissioner of Police who had referred the case to SARS for further investigation.

Counsel for the second accused was however present in court on Friday as was his client.

Nimi ThankGod faces one count charge of misconduct with corpse where she allegedly dumped body of one of the victims in a dumpsite. She had moved the body out of Torox hotel where she was manager.

A lady, Nimi ThankGod had pleaded not guilty when the charge of misconduct with corpse was read to her and has been out on bail.

Presiding judge, Justice Enebeli, adjourned the case to 24 January expressing hope counsel for alleged serial killer would be in court.