Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A Magistrate’s Court in Ovom, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Tuesday ordered that two persons who allegedly supplied the Nigeria Police false information about a younger brother of the state Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, be remanded in prison custody.
But in a dramatic twist, the duo of Francis Babatunde, aged 30 and John James, 32, pleaded guilty before the court after their arraignment by the police.
Both Babatunde and James, the police said, maliciously furnished them with information on Mr. Moses Oruaze Dickson, younger brother of the governor, knowing same to be false.
THISDAY learnt that Babatunde, a plumber working in the residence of Dickson had conspired with James and one Obiene Matthew, who is said to be on the run, to inform the Inspector General of Police monitoring team that he (Dickson) was in possession of firearms and narcotics.
Acting on that premise, the police team reportedly stormed the residence of the younger Dickson at Yenezue- Epie and thoroughly ransacked the building in search of the firearms and illicit drugs.
It was gathered that the police found nothing in line with the information they received from the accused and thereafter arrested them for providing false information.
The two accused who were arraigned on two count charges are being prosecuted by Mr. Matthew Umana from the IG team.
Part of the charges read: “That you Francis Babatunde ‘m’ , John James and one Obiene Matthew now at large on about September 14, 2017 in the Yenagoa Magisterial District did unlawfully conspire amongst yourselves to cause Mr. Moses Oruaze to be charged with offence of unlawful possession of firearms.
“Knowing that or not believing him to be in possession of any firearm as alleged and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 99(10 [4) of the Criminal Code Cap 14, Laws of Bayelsa State 2006.”
According to the second charge, “Francis Babatunde ‘m’, John James ‘m’ now at large on the same date and place in the aforesaid magisterial district did give the Inspector General of Police , a person employed in the public service of Nigeria Police Force information which you knew or believed to be false.
“(This you did) by stating that Mr. Moses Oruaze is in possession of firearms with the intention of causing the said IG to use his lawful power as a person employed in the Nigeria Police Force to the injury or annoyance of Oruaze by causing him to be arrested and questioned and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 100 [b] of the Criminal Code Cap 14, Laws of Bayelsa State 2006.”
After the two accused pleaded guilty to the two-count charge, the Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Mirin Johnson, adjourned the case to October 24 for judgment.