By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Department of Security Services (DSS) yesterday arraigned four persons before a Chief Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt over the alleged murder of one of its personnel, Garrick Jonathan Oyaghiri, about two months ago at Obagi community, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local Government Area of Rivers State.
The victim was said to have been shot dead by gunmen while on a joint security patrol in Obagi community on the eve of the legislative rerun elections in the state.
The accused persons, Osah Ebube Chineme Kingdom, Elem Innocent Eleze, Nwebehia Onyeocha Prince and Ferdinand Obi Akpe are facing two counts charge of conspiracy and murder in suit number PMC/867c/16.
The trial Chief Magistrate, Sokari Andrew-Jaja, however declined to grant the accused persons bail since the offence for which they were charged carried capital punishment.
He further directed that the case file be remitted to the Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice and ordered that the accused by remanded in prison.
The matter was adjourned till July 7 for mention.
In the meantime, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has distanced itself from the arms and ammunition proliferation in the state.
The state Chairman of the PDP, Felix Obuah, said in a statement yesterday in Port Harcourt that party was “much concerned over report of proliferation of arms and ammunition, and recovery of large quantities of arms, ammunition, other dangerous weapons from political thugs, cultists, armed robbers and kidnappers in the State”.
While commending the efforts of the various security agencies in recovering the items from their illegal users, he said, “The PDP as a responsible and law-abiding Party does not have any link with the users and has not procured any of such items for anyone, as it does not have political thugs that it sponsors.”
He accused the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) for encouraging its members to take up arms.
His words: “The PDP has not minced words about its disapproval of use of arms or any lethal weapons in political activities in the State or anywhere else.
“In fact, the PDP and Governor (Nyesom) Wike have continued to demonstrate their abhorrence of criminals, kidnappers, cultists and any act of violence and threat to peace of the society.
“Pursuant of this, the governor has commendably and without reservation, supported security agencies to tackle violence and insecurity of any kind in the State.
“It is also of note that the State’s 8th Assembly, in line with the zero tolerance for criminality by the Governor, passed into law the anti-kidnapping bill, prescribing capital punishment for those found guilty of kidnapping in the State.”
He said the PDP would continue to distance itself from any act of criminality, and “will uphold its averred principle of No to violence, No to thuggery, and No to illegal use of arms and ammunition”.
“We therefore call on the relevant security authorities to be more proactive on efforts to recover these deadly items from wrong hands for our State and the society to be free, peaceful and safe,” he said.