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Court Adjourns Fubara Loyalists’ Terrorism Trial to March 19

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday adjourned till March 19, the trial of loyalists of the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara on terrorism charges.

The adjournment followed an information by the defense counsel, Mr Lukman Fagbemi, SAN, that the Inspector-General of Police has filed a counter affidavit that raised serious issues against his clients.

Those charged before the court for terrorism offences by the IGP, are Chime Eguma Ezebalike; Prince Lukman Oladele; Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa; Osiga Donald and Ochueja Thankgod.

During the proceedings, Fagbemi told the court that he had filed a motion on notice challenging the competence of the terrorism charges and the territorial jurisdiction of the court to entertain the charge.

He however, said that the Inspector-General of Police responded to his motion through a counter affidavit that raised grievous allegations against his clients.

The senior lawyer submitted that the counter affidavit was served on him during the proceedings and that he needed time to study and respond to the affidavit appropriately.

Represented by Aliyu Garba, the IGP admitted that he served the counter affidavit opposing the application of Fagbemi in the court room.

Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon, after checking the case file found that the copy of the counter affidavit had not been served on the court.

Based on the request of Fagbemi, the Judge adjourned the trial till March 19 with an order on parties to file and exchange processes before the date to ensure unhindered proceeding.

The Inspector General of Police IGP had on January 25 slammed terrorism charges on the accused persons for allegedly invading, vandalizing and burning down Rivers State House of Assembly last year.

The defendants were accused of committing the alleged terrorism offences during the wake of political upheaval that rocked Port Harcourt in October last year.

In the charges against them marked FHC/ABJ/CR/25/2024, police alleged that apart from burning down the State House of Assembly, some of them were said to have killed a Superintendent of Police, (SP) Bako Agbashim and five police informants at Ahoada community of the state.

The police informants said to have been killed by the defendants are Charles Osu, Ogbonna Eja, Idaowuka Felix, Paul Victor Chibuogu and Saturday Edi.

They are also accused of using various cult groups, namely- Supreme Viking Confraternity, Degbam, Iceland and Greenland to unleash mayhem on the people of the state and their commercial activities.

Specifically, they are accused to have on October 29, 2023 at Moscow Road in Port Harcourt conspired to commit acts of terrorism via willful destruction of public properties by invading, attacking, destroying and burning of the Rivers State House of Assembly, an offence punishable under section 26 of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act 2022.

The defendants have since been remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja after being denied bail by the court on account of the gravity of charges filed against them.

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