The police in Imo State have arraigned 14 suspects, believed to be aides to a former governor of the state, Senator Rochas Okorocha for breaking into a sealed estate belonging to their boss.
There was a mild drama however when one of those charged, Mr. Darlington Ibekwe slumped inside the courtroom during the arraignment proceedings.
According to the prosecutor, Omo-Osagie M. A., the suspects were accused of conspiring among themselves to disobey a lawful order issued by the state government by removing the seal placed on the property known as Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartments belonging to Okorocha.
At their arraignment on Monday before a Magistrate court sitting in Owerri, the state capital Omo-Osagie M. A. said others such as Lasbery Okaforanyanwu, Ijeoma Igboanusi and the former governor’s son in-laws, Uche Nwosu and Dr. Uzoma Anwuka, were still at large.
Ibekwe was also accused of publishing a recorded defamatory matter on social media with intent to injure the reputation of the state government and the person of Governor Hope Uzodimma.
The police alleged that the action exposed Uzodinma to hatred, contempt, ridicule and damage in reputation while another suspect, Olu Chizoba was charged with unlawful possession of double barrel pump action gun without license.
After a six-count charge was read to the suspects, counsel to the defendants, Eddy Onyema, sought for their bail, assuring that they would return to the court to take their trial.
Onyema noted that none of the charges against the defendants was a capital offence, said, “worst, some of them are felony. That’s why we’re seeking for their bail”.
When the magistrate, B. U. Adikaibe, returned to the courtroom for her ruling, Ibekwe, slumped.
He was however, revived by his fellow suspects, who pleaded for water with which he was revived.
After the incident, the court had without delay given its ruling by granting all 14 accused persons bail with N5 million each totaling N70 million, a condition the court said must be fulfilled before they would regain their freedom.
Those arraigned with Ibekwe included Obasi Goodluck, Nwaiwu Ndubuisi, Median Ijeoma, Obor Victor, Ucheka Claudin, Sunday Chisom and Ekpendu Peace.
Others were Nev F. Raphael, Basil Mba, Steve Asimobi, Ebere Nwokeji, Eberendu Chimechifulam and Olu Chizoba.