Monday, February 22, 2021 8:58 pm
An Owerri Magistrate Court on Monday admitted 14 persons to bail in the tussle between Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma and his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, after one of the suspects, Darlington Ibekwe dramatically slumped in court. There was panic as others made spirited efforts to bring him back to life.
Ibekwe was among 14 loyalists of Okorocha brought before Magistrate B.U Adikaibe for forcefully breaking into a sealed estate owned by the former Govxernor on Sunday. Each of the accused was granted N5 million bail.
Those arraigned with Ibekwe included Obasi Goodluck, Nwaiwu Ndubuisi, Median Ijeoma, Obor Victor, Ucheka Claudin, Sunday Chisom and Ekpendu Peace.
Others were F. Raphael, Basil Mba, Steve Asimobi, Ebere Nwokeji, Eberendu Chimechifulam and Olu Chizoba.
Ibekwe and his co-travellers were accused of conspiring among themselves to disobey a lawful order issued by the state by removing the seal of the state government and entering into the sealed premises of Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartments belonging to Okorocha.
The Nation reports that police prosecutor, Omo-Osagie M. A. told the court that Okorocha’s former appointees, Lasbery Okaforanyanwu, Ijeoma Igboanusi and his son in-laws, Uche Nwosu and Dr. Uzoma Anwuka, were at large.
While Ibekwe was also accused of publishing a recorded defamatory matter on social media with intent to injure the reputation of the state government and the person of Governor Hope Uzodimma by exposing to hatred, contempt, ridicule and damage his reputation, Olu Chizoba was charged with unlawful possession of double barrel pump action gun without license.
After a six-count charge was read to the suspects, counsel to the defendants, Eddy Onyema, sought for their bail, assuring that they would return to the court to take their trial.
Onyema noted that none of the charges against the defendants was a capital offence. He said, “worst, some of them are felony. That’s why we’re seeking for their bail”.