Miss Sophia Philips Horsefall, a native of Buguma in Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, was a successful, beautiful, intelligent, generous and cheerful lady, before her lover, one Sotonye Martins, allegedly snuffed the life out of her.
Miss Sophia who until her gruesome murder was a senior staff at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The victim and the suspect (Sotonye), some years ago, had a relationship that produced an eight year-old girl, but the suspect allegedly dumped the victim and got married to another woman that had two children for him.
Information obtained showed that the suspect convinced the victim that he has concluded the process of his divorce with his current wife, after the victim disclosed to him that she had over N20 million in her bank account.
On knowledge of the victim’s account statement, the suspect allegedly compelled her to make withdrawals, until he finally killed her on her refusal to give him cash of N1million.
A close relation to the victim, who gave his name as Sam, disclosed that after the suspect left his sister she moved on with her life where she later got employed in NDDC.
He narrated: “After Sotonye got married to another woman, Sophia moved on and saw herself in NDDC. Some years after, Sotonye contacted the victim and started promising her marriage and claimed he was in the process of divorcing his current wife.
“While this was going on, he got a forged divorce paper from the court and presented to Sophia that he had concluded the divorce process.”
However, the Department of State Service (DSS) has arraigned the suspect and two other persons, Innocent Oluche and Wachukwu Ugochukwu before a Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt, for the killing of the employee of the NDDC, Miss Sophia Philips Horsefall.
The suspects are facing three count charges of conspiracy and murder in suit PMC/2304c/16.
According to the charge, the suspects were said to have committed the offence on November 8, 2016, at Rumukparale in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State.
The accuse persons were said to have stabbed the victim to death with a jackknife.
Counsel for the DSS, Barr Chidi Eze, told the court that the first accused (Sotonye) lured and killed Horsefall at the residence of the second defendant in the matter, Oluche.
Eze disclosed that the victim’s corpse was buried in a shallow grave, adding that Sotonye and Oluche called Wachukwu, third defendant, a native doctor, to perform cleansing on her grave side and also the house where she was murdered.
The charge reads: “That you, Sotonye Martin, Innocent Oluche and Wachukwu Ugochukwu, Adults on the 8th day of November 2016, at Rumukparale, in Obio/Akpor LGA, within the jurisdiction of this court, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: murder of Sophia Philips Horsefall, a staff of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 324 of the Criminal Code Law, Laws of State 1999.
“That you, Sotonye Martin, Innocent Oluche and Wachukwu Ugochukwu, Adults on the 8th day of November 2016, at Rumukparale, in Obio/Akpor LGA, within the jurisdiction of this court, did kill Sophia Philips Horsefall, a staff of NDDC by stabbing her to death with a jack knife and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 316 and Punishable under Section 316 of the Criminal Code Law, Laws of Rivers State 1999.”
The accuse persons did not take plea as the court lacks jurisdiction to trial the matter.
Meanwhile, the presiding magistrate, Z. O. Alikor, has ordered that the accused be remanded in the prison custody, and also directed that the case file be remitted to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for legal advice.