The suspect and others at large, it was gathered, also tortured another victim, Chigbo Ugbala, with sticks and machetes during the act.
WE4WE REPORTS gathered that while Johnson died and was thrown into the river, Ugbala fled the initiation ground.
Sources said efforts to recover the remains of the deceased had been futile.
Our correspondent gathered that the incident happened on July 10 at Ekeugwu-Azuinyaba Secondary School, Azuinyaba, in the Ishielu Local Government Area of the state.
Kingsley was arraigned on four counts of murder, conspiracy, cultism and unlawful possession of firearms.
The Police Prosecutor, ASP Eze Nnabuaku, told the court that the offences were punishable under sections 516A (a), 319 (1) and 335 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33 Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria.
The suspect, who was not represented in court, said he was lured into the act by his friends and pleaded for mercy.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Nnenna Onuoha, said the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.
She asked that the case file be transferred to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and adjourned till Friday, August 7, 2020.