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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Court fixes date to hear application stopping Fubara’s COS’ arrest

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed the date for hearing on an application to set aside the arrest warrant against the Rivers State Governor, Sim Fubara’s Chief of Staff, Edison Ehie, and five others following their alleged involvement in the burning of the state’s House of Assembly.

The court on Monday, adjourned the case to March 4, 2024.

Following an ex-parte application by the Inspector General of Police which was predicated on Sections 37, 113, 114, 84, and 184 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution as well as Section 32 of the Police Act 2020, Justice Emeka Nwite had on January 31, 2024, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Ehie, Jinjiri Bala, Happy Benedict, Progress Joseph, Adokiye Oyagiri, and Chibuike Peter also known as Rambo.

The IGP’s lawyer, Simon Lough, told the court that the six defendants needed to be arrested to defend charges against them, including alleged terrorism and attempted murder and murder of a Superintendent of Police, SP Bako Agbashim, and five police informants.

The police had in the seven charges preferred against them, alleged the defendants of committing alleged terrorism offences by invading, vandalising, and burning down Rivers State House of Assembly in the wake of the political crisis that rocked Port Harcourt in October 2023.

However, Ehie and other defendants’ counsel, Femi Falana, (SAN) and Oluwole Aladedoye, filed separate applications.

They asked the court to set aside the arrest warrant as well as restrain the police from carrying out the order pending the determination of the case.

Falana maintained that the IGP had not filed any criminal charge or motion before seeking the arrest of his client.

He said, “The complainant/respondent did not adduce evidence of terrorism in the affidavit supporting the application.

“The complainant/respondent did not cite any section of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2013 (as amended) alleged to have been contravened by the applicants.”

Aladedoye, argued that a notice of appeal had been filed against the trial court orders, hence, the need for the police to be restrained.

At the resumed hearing, Simon Lough told the judge he was not aware of the defendant’s motion.

But Nwite noted that from the court’s records, he could see the motion had been served on him.

Lough then pleaded for time to react to the defendants’ applications.

Subsequently, the judge adjourned till March 4 for the hearing of the application.

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