Court Remands Seven Persons over Alleged Invasion of Edo Assembly


Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city

A High Court in Benin-city (Vacation Court One), Edo State, yesterday remanded seven persons nabbed by the police with illegal firearms during the alleged invasion of the state House of Assembly complex.

Those arrested were identified as Festus Agbonrenren, 25; Odion Osayande, 23; Ogbeiwe Wilfred, 52; Morgan Uwaigboe, 47; Osayomore Salami, 25; Ifeoluwa Oladele, 36, and Igbinobaro Collins, 26.

The seven suspects were allegedly arrested on August 6, 2020, within the premises of the state Assembly complex with five double-barrel long guns, two single barrel long guns, and 10 live cartridges.

However, when the matter came up yesterday, the seven suspects through their lawyer, Mathias Obayuwana called the attention of the Judge on an exparte motion filed on August 19, directing the Inspector General of Police (IG), Muhammed Adamu, to release them forthwith from detention, arguing that their continued detention breaches their fundamental human rights.

The enrollment of order which was contained in suit No: B/133M/2020, also ordered the granting of bail to the applicants (suspects) on liberal terms, and directing their release from custody pending the determination of the substantive application or an order directing the respondents to produce the applicants on a date the matter is fixed for hearing.

There was also an order of injunction restraining the respondents (IG) from taking further steps in connection with the matter of staying all actions pending the determination of the substantive application.

Any other order or orders as to this, the court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this case.

Against the above premise, the presiding Judge, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, ordered the police prosecution counsel, Mr. Akomen Adaghe, to remand the suspects in the police custody till September 3, when plea (arraignment) would be taken after the originating motion.

Earlier, the counsel to the suspects, Obayuwana, had told the court there was an enrolment order directed by the IG, where the suspects were bided to appear in court on August 25 for hearing and not August 24.

Obayuwana said he was shocked that the prosecuting counsel brought the suspects to court.

But the prosecution counsel, Akomen Adaghe, said he was not aware of such order.

Justice Ikponmwonba, who also agreed with the counsel to the suspects, adjourned the sitting to August 25 for the originating motion with respect to the enforcement of fundamental human rights

She, however, ordered that the suspects should not be brought along to court, adding that the court does not need the unnecessary attention that the presence of the suspects would create.