Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has restrained Rivers State Government from arresting any member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state in support of the party’s Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
The trial judge, Justice A. T. Ibrahim gave the order Monday, in a motion ex parte filed by the former National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, Senator Lee Maeba, Abiye Sekibo, Senator Geroge Sekibo, Celestine Omehia, Austin Opara, and others.
The order also restrained the Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) from obeying the arrest order. The PDP accused the Rivers State government of harassing and intimidating their supporters in the state.
Justice Ibrahim ordered the Rivers State Government and other respondents in the suit to maintain status quo pending the determination of the case.
Recalled that a Chief Magistrate court in Port Harcourt, had remanded 21 supporters of the presidential candidate of the PDP in the Nigeria Correctional facility in the state.
The Atiku’s supporters were accused of involvement in alleged conspiracy, cultism, and unlawful gathering, according to the charge before the court.
Efforts to get them bailed proved abortive, as the trial Chief Magistrate, Collins Ali directed that the case file be transmitted to the office of Director of Public Prosecution for advise and information. The matter was adjourned till March 22, 2023 for bail consideration.
Reacting to the arrest, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko said “The arrest is not related to any political meeting. Those arrested are presently being profiled and 12 of them have already been released. All others found to be clean will be released soonest while those found guilty to be charged in court”.
Iringe-Koko claimed they were arrested over alleged court related issue.