Court orders Rivers House Leader, Lloyd, to remain in custody

By The Citizen

A Rivers State High Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, yesterday ordered that the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Chidi Lloyd, should be remanded in prison custody.

The trial judge, Justice Letam Nyordee, had given the directive that Lloyd remained in prison custody till Wednesday (today) pending the determination of a bail application filed by his counsel.

Another High Court, sitting in Ahoada, Rivers State, had on Monday granted the embattled lawmaker a bail which the Peoples Democratic Party described as a 'travesty of justice.'

Lloyd, who was appearing in court for the second time since he had been in police detention, pleaded not guilty to six counts of conspiracy, attempted murder, intent to maim, disfigure and injure, unlawful grievous harm and willfully destroying of government property.

Lead counsel for the Majority Leader, Mr. Beluolisa Nwofor (SAN), had moved a motion for the bail application for his client pursuant to Sections 118 sub-section 124 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Rivers State.

Nwofor explained that his client deserved bail and prayed the court to discountenance the counter-affidavit filed by the police on the bail application.

He told the court that his client had been in detention for over a week, a period, which he argued, had surpassed the limit prescribed by the constitution.

'He (Lloyd) has been in police detention for more than one week and this is against the stipulation of the constitution. We plead that the court grants him bail,' Nwofor said.

The lawyer argued that a person was deemed innocent until a competent court of law decides otherwise since the charges against his client had nothing to do with armed robbery, murder or felony.

He also prayed the court to grant Lloyd bail based on self-recognition, arguing that his client willingly turned himself in to the police.

However, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Worgu Boms, succeeded in taking over the prosecution of the matter from the police in line with Section 211 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.

Boms, had, during the previous sitting, declared his intention to take over the prosecution from the counsel for the police, Mr. Donald De-Nwigwe.

But the court had raised objection to the attorney-general's move on the grounds that Lloyd had not been arraigned.

The trial judge, however, ruled that the attorney-general could take over the prosecution from De-Nwigwe, after the Majority Leader had taken his plea.

Meanwhile, one of the counsel for Lloyd, Mr. Emenike Ebete, has said that they decided to sue the Inspector General Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, and claim N50bn as damages following the inhuman treatment meted on his client.

Ebete, who spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, said Lloyd was blindfolded, tortured and treated like a common criminal by the police.

The counsel, who filed the suit against police boss at a High Court in Ahoada on Monday, argued that the law permitted Lloyd to claim damages from the police because his fundamental human rights had been breached.