TWO COURTS GIVE CONFLICTING ORDERS OVER ARREST OF FUBARA’S CHIEF OF STAFF
The Federal High Court, Abuja and a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt have given conflicting arrest orders on chief of staff (CoS) to the Rivers State governor, Hon Edison Ehie over alleged terrorism charges.
While Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja issued a warrant for the arrest of Ehie, over his alleged involvement in the burning of the State House of Assembly, Justice Sika Aprioku of the Rivers State High Court granted a motion ex-parte filed by Ehie against the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) from arresting him.
Ehie, who is the immediate past factional Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, according to Justice Nwite should be arrested alongside five other persons based in Port Harcourt for allegedly participating in some criminal activities.
Those ordered to be arrested along with him are Jinjiri Bala, Happy Benedict, Progress Joseph, Adokiye Oyagiri and Chibuike Peter, also known as Rambo.
The court granted the order for their arrest while ruling in an ex-parte application brought before him by the inspector-general of police.
The ex-parte application was predicated on sections 37, 113, 114, 84 and 184 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 and section 35 of the 1999 Constitution as well as 32 of the Police Act 2020.
In the application argued by the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Simon Lough (SAN), the six defendants were said to be at large.
The senior lawyer submitted that the defendants were involved in conspiracy, arson, terrorism, attempted murder and murder of a Superintendent of Police (SP) Bako Agbashim and five other police informants.
The five police informants alleged to have been killed are Charles Osu, Ogbonna Eja, Idaowuka Felix, Paul Victor Chibuogu and Saturday Edi.
Justice Nwite granted the request of the IGP to declare the defendants wanted and for them to be brought before the court for trial upon their arrest and investigation.
The IGP had two weeks ago put five Port Harcourt-based persons on trial on terrorism charges and they were remanded at Kuje Prison upon their arraignment.
They were ordered to remain in prison custody till February 2 when their respective bail applications would be determined by the judge.
The five defendants are Chime Eguma Ezebalike, Prince Lukman Oladele, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Osiga Donald and Ochueja Thankgod.
In the seven-count charges, the defendants were accused of committing alleged terrorism offences by invading, vandalising and burning down Rivers State House of Assembly during the wake of political crisis that rocked Port Harcourt in October last year.
At the Rivers’ court, Ehie prayed for a restraining order on the police or other security agencies from arresting, detaining and harassing him over his alleged involvement in the invasion of the Rivers Assembly.
Justice Aprioku, after granting the order, adjourned to February 6, 2024 for hearing of the substantive application.
The Amaewhule-led lawmakers had written criminal petitions against Ehie to the Rivers State Police Command on the invasion and burning of the hallowed chambers by unknown hoodlums.In the petition, the Amaewhule-led House of Assembly demanded the police to arrest, prosecute Ehie for his alleged involvement in the burning down of the building.