Home » Court Detains Governor Fubara’s Allies Following Assembly Explosion

Court Detains Governor Fubara’s Allies Following Assembly Explosion

Abuja Court Remands Five in Explosive Rivers State Political Crisis

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe
Rivers State Assembly Explosion

A Federal High Court in Abuja has remanded five individuals linked to Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State. These individuals are implicated in an explosion that severely damaged the Rivers State Assembly complex in October 2023, amidst an alleged impeachment move against the governor.

The accused, identified as Chime Eguma Ezebalike, Prince Lukman Oladele, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Osiga Donald, and Ochueja Thankgod, appeared before Justice Bolaji Olajuwon on Thursday. They face seven charges, including terrorism offenses, for their alleged roles in invading, vandalizing, and setting ablaze the Assembly during last year’s political crisis in Port Harcourt.

The charges extend beyond the destruction of property. The defendants are also accused of the murder of a Superintendent of Police, Bako Agbashim, and five police informants in the Ahoada community. The deceased informants were named as Charles Osu, Ogbonna Eja, Idaowuka Felix, Paul Victor Chibuogu, and Saturday Edi.

These individuals, who pleaded not guilty to all allegations, are to remain in prison custody until February 2, when their bail applications will be heard. The charges also include the use of various cult groups, namely Supreme Viking Confraternity, Degbam, Iceland, and Greenland, in orchestrating violence across the state.

In a related twist, the immediate past factional Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Edison Ehie, although not listed in the terrorism charges, was represented in court. Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Oluwole Aladedoyin argued on his behalf, challenging claims of Ehie being in hiding with other suspects. However, Justice Olajuwon refrained from allowing further arguments since Ehie is not formally a defendant yet.

The prosecution, led by Audu Garba, requested a date for a full-blown trial of the defendants. In contrast, defense counsel Lukman Fagbemi, SAN, representing Ezebalike and Oladele, sought to move bail applications, noting they have been in custody since the previous year. The government lawyer opposed the immediate hearing of the bail applications, citing the need for adequate time to review and respond.

Concurring with the prosecution, Justice Olajuwon set February 2 for the bail hearing. He ordered the defendants to be taken to Kuje Prison on remand until the adjourned date. “The defendants are hereby remanded pending the hearing and determination of the bail applications,” he stated.

This case has drawn significant attention, highlighting the volatile political climate in Rivers State. As the community awaits further developments, questions about the broader implications of this incident for regional stability and governance loom large.


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