News filtering in from Imo State, Nigeria, indicates that the face-off between Governor Hope Uzodimma and former Governor Rochas Okorocha has taken a new dimension as fourteen Aides of Owelle Okorocha who stormed and unsealed an Estate belonging to him, were today,arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Owerri.
There was however some drama when one of the defendants, Darlington Ibekwe, slumped inside the Court room.
Ibekwe and thirteen others were accused of conspiring amongst themselves to disobey a lawful order issued by the State Government to wit removing a seal and forcefully entering into the sealed premises of Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartments belonging to Senator Okorocha.
Prosecuting Police Officer, Omo-Osagie M. A. told the Court that some of the former Governor’s Aides-Lasbery Okaforanyanwu, Ijeoma Igboanusi and his son in-laws, Uche Nwosu and Dr. Uzoma Anwuka- who also allegedly engaged in the said unlawful act were at large.
Ibekwe was also accused of publishing a recorded defamatory matter on social media with intent to sully the reputation of the State Government and the person of Governor Uzodimma and exposing him to hatred, contempt and ridicule in the eyes and minds of right thinking members of the society.
Olu Chizoba on his part, was charged with unlawful possession of double barrel pump action gun without license.
After a six-count charge was read, Counsel to the defendants, Eddy Onyema, prayed the Court to grant them bail as he promised that they will present themselves in Court for the trial proper.
He averred that the charges preffered against them were not capital offences though some could be said to be felonious in nature.
But when the presiding Magistrate, B. U. Adikaibe who took a break, returned to the Courtroom to rule on the matter, Ibekwe slumped.
He was however, revived by his fellow defendants who pleaded for and administered some water on him.
The Court later granted the accused persons bail with the sum of N5 million each totaling N70 million – a condition the Magistrate said must be fulfilled before they would regain their freedom.
Those arraigned with Ibekwe were: Obasi Goodluck, Nwaiwu Ndubuisi, Median Ijeoma, Obor Victor, Ucheka Claudin, Sunday Chisom and Ekpendu Peace.
Others were: Rev F. Raphael, Basil Mba, Steve Asimobi, Ebere Nwokeji, Eberendu Chimechifulam and Olu Chizoba.