Thursday, December 6, 2018 6:24 pm
Court issues Two Bench Warrants for the arrest and detention of Chidi Lloyd
▪as Ojukaye Flag Amachree shuns Murder Trial
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A Rivers High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has issued two bench warrants directing the State Police Commissioner to immediately arrest Former majority leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Chidi Lloyd and produce him in court for trial on charges of attempted murder.
Justice Chinwendu Nwogu of the Rivers State High Court 19 issued the two bench warrants on Thursday following the absence of Chidi Lloyd and his counsels at the court.
The court ordered that Chidi Lloyd should be detained at the Port Harcourt Federal Prisons till the next adjourned dates for the attempted murder trial immediately he is arrested.
Dr Chidi Lloyd, who holds a Ph.D in Law and a former leader of Rivers House of Assembly, had initially been set free on a similar charges during the tenure of former Governor Chibuike Amaechi.
The State Governor had through the Attorney General entered into nolli prosequi on the attempted murder charge arising from the fight on the floor of the House of Assembly.
The former majority leader was expected to take his plea in CHARGE NO: PH/692CR/2018 – THE STATE V. CHIDI LLYOD and .CHARGE NO: PH/693 CR/2018 – THE STATE V. CHIDI LLYOD.
The matter has been adjourned to 10th January, 2018 for the Police to produce Chidi Lloyd to take his plea.
Lawyers to Chidi Lloyd were in court on Wednesday when their objection was dismissed.
On Thursday, the same counsels appeared and registered their names before the court, only to disappear when the case was mentioned.
Addressing journalists after the court sitting, Counsel to the Rivers State Government, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) stated that the State is ready for the expeditious trial of the former lawmaker.
He said: ” The defendant’s absence was not excused at all. On the basis of that, we applied for bench warrants to be issued for the two different cases to compel the appearance of the defendant in court on the next adjourned date of 10th January, 2019.
“Two bench warrants have now been issued mandating the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State to arrest and to detain Chidi Lloyd in Port Harcourt prison till the next adjourned date and to produce the defendant in court on the next adjourned date. ”
In the same vein, the sacked Rivers State APC Chairman, Mr Ojukaye Flag Amachree again stayed away from court as Rivers State Government arraigned him for murder before Hon. Justice Joy N. Akpughunum .
Additionally, Counsel to Ojukaye Flag Amachree was absent in respect to Case Number PH/1664/CR/2016 between the State and Ojukaye Flag Amachree.
Following the absence of Ojukaye Flag Amachree to take his plea on his second murder charge, the Court adjourned to January 24, 2018 for the Rivers APC Chairman to take his plea.
Addressing journalists, counsel to the Rivers State Government, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) said that it was out of the abundance of caution that prosecution requested for a short adjournment to avail the accused person the opportunity to take his plea.
Obla (SAN) noted that hearing notice will be issued and served on the accused person and his counsel.
He assured that justice will be done in the suit.
He said: “The matter was to today at their instance. We are in court again, the defendant is not in court and his counsel is not in court. His counsel has not written to the court to excuse his absence.
“Out of the abundance of caution because we know that this is a criminal trial, we decided deliberately not to proceed because if we proceed it will look like the state is just interested in infringing on the constitutional rights of the accused person. The state is interested in the expeditious and fair trial of the accused person. ”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria added: ” We have out of the abundance of caution applied for a short date to enable fresh hearing notice to be served on the accused person. The matter has been adjourned to the 24th of January 2018 for plea. Hearing notice will be issued and served on them. As officers of the court, we shall also do a letter to the counsel, notifying him of the new date.”
He noted that by the next adjourned date Ojukaye Flag Amachree is not in court, the law allows for alternative avenues for trial. Obla assured that Justice will be done in the matter.
Chidi Lloyd who currently lectures at the Department of Private and Public Law, faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus is now the Director-General of Tonye Dele Cole Governorship campaign organization.