Drama as court grants Okorocha’s loyalists N70m bail

An aide to the former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Darlinton Ibekwe who was among the 14 suspects arraigned for breaking into the sealed Royal Spring Palm Estate, Owerri linked to Okorocha’s wife, suddenly slumped inside the court room during arraignment on Monday.

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.

Recall that the ex-governor stormed the estate with his supporters, policemen, soldiers and personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Sunday morning and ordered the unsealing of the estate, leading to a fracas between his loyalists and that of the state governor, Hope Uzodinma.

Okorocha and his associates were arrested but was later granted bail on Sunday.

Ibekwe and 13 other loyalists of Senator Okorocha, were accused of conspiring among themselves to disobey a lawful order issued by the state by removing the seal of the state government and entering into the sealed premises of Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartments belonging to Okorocha.

While 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 by exposing to hatred, contempt, ridicule and damage his reputation, 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, council to the defendants, Eddy Onyema, sought for their bail, assuring that they would return to the court to take their trial.

When the magistrate, B. U. Adikaibe, returned to the courtroom for her ruling, a suspect, 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.

Police prosecutor, Omo-Osagie M. A. told the court that Okorocha’s former appointees, Lasbery Okaforanyanwu, Ijeoma Igboanusi and his son in-laws, Uche Nwosu and Dr. Uzoma Anwuka, were at large.

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