One Sotonye Martin, the boyfriend to a female staff of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Sophia Phillips Horsefall, was yesterday arraigned before a Port Harcourt magistrate court, for allegedly stabbing her to death on November 8th after she refused to make him, next-of-kin to her bank account as well as her refusal to give him N1 million he had demanded from her.
Sotonye was arraigned before the court alongside two others, Innocent Oluche and Wachukwu Ugochukwu.
Counsel to the DSS, C. S. Eze, told the court that Sotonye, who has a 13-year-old child with the deceased, lured her to his friend, Innocent Oluche’s house where she was killed.
After the act, the men dug a shallow grave, invited Wachukwu Ugochukwu, a spiritualist to perform some rituals and then buried her.
Eze said the accused persons were brought before the court on a three-count charge, which included “stabbing to death with a jack knife, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 316 and punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code Law, Laws of Rivers State 1999”.
The Chief Magistrate F. Alikor after hearing the submission of the DSS Counsel, referred the case file to the state Director of Public Prosecution, saying her court did not have jurisdiction to entertain matters over the murder, which was the second charge. She ordered that the suspects be remanded in prison and adjourned the case indefinitely.
Brother to the deceased, Amatu Phillips, who spoke to newsmen after the case was adjourned, accused Sotonye of murdering his sister whom he had dated for 13 years, because of her wealth.
He claimed Sophia Phillips had some money in her account and confided in the boyfriend who later kept on pestering her for financial support.
According to him, after the sister had allegedly given him money several times, he came again demanding for N1 million which she refused. He alleged that the boyfriend later lured her to his friend’s house, offered her a fruit juice drink which, unknown to the sister, was drugged.
He alleged that when the boyfriend noticed that she was dizzy from effect of the drug, he stabbed her on the neck, demanding her ATM card and password.
He claimed the boyfriend had before that day persuaded his sister, Sophia Phillips, to change the name of her next-of-kin on her bank details to his name.