A FEDERAL High Court (FHC) in Abuja on Thursday, January 25, remanded some loyalists of River State governor Siminalayi Fubara over the vandalisation of the State House of Assembly complex.
Five supporters of the governor were charged before Bolaji Olajuwon of the FHC.
They were accused of being involved in the October 30, 2023, explosion that destroyed the Rivers State Assembly building.
The ICIR reported that Fubara claimed police and military officers shot at him on his way to the state House of Assembly in the early hours of Monday, October 30.
Fubara’s claim was made amid the suspension of the Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly, Edison Ehie, over allegations that he supervised the burning of the Assembly Complex.
Fire engulfed the complex on Sunday, October 29, around 10 p.m.
It was subsequently quenched by the Fire Service and security agents, who prevented it from consuming the entire building.
The crises follow reports of the House’s impending impeachment of the governor.
Those charged before the court are Chime Eguma Ezebalike, Prince Lukman Oladele, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Osiga Donald and Ochueja Thankgod.
In the charges marked FHC/ABJ/CR/25/2024, the defendants were accused of committing terrorism offences by invading, vandalising and burning down Rivers State House of Assembly during the wake of the political crisis that rocked Port Harcourt in October last year.
They were also accused of killing a Superintendent of Police, Bako Agbashim, and five police informants in the Ahoada community of the state.
The police informants alleged to have been killed are Idaowuka Felix, Paul Victor Chibuogu, Saturday Edi, Charles Osu, and Ogbonna Eja.
They were also charged with wreaking havoc on the state’s citizens and their businesses using cult organisations such as Greenland, Degbam, Iceland, and the Supreme Viking Confraternity.
Each of them entered a not-guilty plea to the accusations.
They are expected to stay in jail until February 2, when the judge will decide on each of their bail applications.
Despite not being named in the seven counts of terrorism charges, the immediate past factional Speaker of the Assembly, Edison Ehie, was represented in court by Oluwole Aladedoyin because his name was prominently mentioned in the alleged offences.
He refuted the claims that he and other suspects were out of custody.
The judge, Olajuwon, did not, however, permit additional arguments on the grounds that he was not yet a defendant in the allegations.
Olajuwon scheduled a hearing for February 2 to consider all bail applications after concurring with the prosecutor that the applications were not ready for a hearing.
The judge ruled that the five defendants would be detained at Kuje Prison and returned to court on the adjournment date, pending the hearing and resolution of the bail applications.