Court adjourns trial of suspected Port Harcourt ‘serial killer’

Court adjourns trial of suspected Port Harcourt 'serial killer'

A Nigerian court on Monday adjourned the trial of a suspected serial killer accused of strangling 10 women to death in ritual-style murders after drugging them at hotels. 

Gracious David West, 26, in October admitted to nine of the killings in the city of Port Harcourt after the bodies of his alleged victims were found with a white cloth wrapped around their necks and waist.

The murders sparked outrage and prompted women to take to the streets of Port Harcourt, the heart of Nigeria’s oil-rich south, to demand better police protection.   

A judge suspended the trial to Thursday after prosecutors said they needed more time to prepare because they had only received the case file from the police last week. 

West appeared in court in handcuffs, wearing a green prison uniform and a plastic bracelet from an evangelical church, a journalist said. 

Prosecutor Zacchaeus Adango said that the police dossier also contained evidence against a second suspect called Nimi Thankgod, who should appear at the next hearing. 

It is rife with so-called cults, criminal gangs that emerged from university campuses to become organised crime groups and frequently engage in blood rituals and oaths. 

Police have said West was a confessed cult member and released a video of him on Twitter confessing to the crimes after his arrest in September. 

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