• Party, Peterside hail decision
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Reprieve came the way of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, yesterday as the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt granted him bail.
Flag-Amachree has been in prison custody while standing trial before the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra, over the murder of one Smart Soberekon during the 2015 general election in the state.
When the matter came up on October 25, 2016, Iyayi-Lamikanra denied the APC chieftain bail and announced her withdrawal from the case, saying she had already reassigned it to another judge.
But in his judgment yesterday, the presiding judge of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, Justice Ali Gumel, said the judge of the lower court failed in her course to examine the evidence on the health condition of the appellant before denying the bail application.
Gumel, who also vacated the order of remand made by Laminkara and granted the accused person bail with the sum of N10 million, two sureties, a landed property in Port Harcourt with a Certificate of Occupancy (CofO.
Reacting to the development, the state chapter of the APC said: “Bail for Ojukaye is triumph of good over evil” and dedicated it to the late Ken Atsuwete, who was representing the former local government chairman before he was murdered by yet-to-be-identified persons.
A statement issued yesterday by the state Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. Chris Finebone, said: “The granting of bail to the APC chieftain, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree by the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday signifies the pre-eminence of good over evil; it confirms that the triumph of evil over good is only but temporary.
The governorship candidate of the APC in the 2015 election in the state, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, also described the bail granted to Flag-Amachree by the Court of Appeal on all counts as the “triumph of light over evil and end of wickedness from Rivers State Government House.”
Peterside, who is also the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday, stated that the judiciary has once again risen to its bastion as the last hope of the oppressed and those unjustly persecuted by power mongers.