Wednesday, April 20, 2016 10:11 am
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Security agencies in Rivers state seem to have woken up from slumber by picking up some big fishes alleged to be masterminds of political violence in the state.
Latest report indicates that Ojukaiye Flag Amachree, former Chairman of Asari-Toru local Government of the state has been arrested by the detectives of the Rivers State Police Command.
Prince Asi-Dateme, the media aide to the former Chairman has confirmed the arrest. He said although the reason for the arrest was hazy, it may be connected with the violence in the Asari-Toru local government during the 2015 and March 19 rerun elections where some people were killed.
On Tuesday, Kenneth Kobani ,the Secretary to State Government, SSG,a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,and Azubuike Wanjoku an APC Chieftain and candidate of the party for Ikwerre-Emohua federal constituency for the House of Representative were arraigned by the Department of State Services,DSS before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.
Kobani and Wanjoku were charged over their alleged misconduct during the state and National Assembly rerun elections on 19 March.
The charge against Kobani read: “That you Kenneth Kobani with others at large on or about March 3, 2016 at a meeting held in your residence at Bodo community, Gokana Local Government Area, did conspire to carry out activities that could cause the breach of the peace and breakdown of law and order on the 19th of March 2016 thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act.
“That you, Kenneth Kobani, and others at large, on or about March 19, 2016 on the premises of INEC office, Gokana LGA, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conduct yourself in a manner that caused the breach of the peace by leading and instructing your followers to barricade the entrance of the INEC office, preventing officials of the commission and other ad hoc staff from discharging their duties and causing stampede in the vicinity thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249 d of the Criminal Code.
“That on or about 19th March, 2016 on the premises of INEC office, Gokana LGA, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did hold Mr. James Simon, an official of the commission and other ad hoc staff hostage until their eventual rescue by security personnel, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011.”
Kobani pleaded not guilty to the charge and Justice Mohammed Liman, granted him bail on self-recognition before adjourning the matter till June 15, 2016.
Wanjoku, was charged with disturbing peace during the election by falsely accusing an official of the INEC, Mr. Kingsley Osifu, of collecting money from him.
Wanjoku’s second charge bordered on an alleged obstruction of a public officer from carrying out his duty while the third count alleged that the APC stalwart forcefully demanded a refund of money from the public officer.
Justice Liman, however, granted Wanjoku bail in the sum of N500,000 after he Wanjoku pleaded not guilty.
Justice Liman directed that a senior civil servant should sign surety for him and the APC chieftain was remanded in prosecution custody until he fulfilled the bail conditions.