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YENAGOA STONING: SUSPECTS TO FACE TREASONABLE FELONY CHARGE

By NBF News
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The suspects arrested in connection with the pelting of Governor Timipre Sylva with stones and objects during the grand civic reception hosted in honour of President Goodluck Jonathan in Yenagoa were on Monday arraigned in a Yenagoa Federal High Court on a two-count charge of treasonable felony.

The suspects, Toremeye Fibi, aged 37, Ukalizebe Benard, 28 and Beneyi Best, 30 were brought before Justice R.M Alkawa in handcuffs at exactly 1.pm.

Their relations, friends and relatives who got wind that they would be brought to court had stormed the court to see them but were disappointed when the time of appearance was shifted to 1.pm.

At about 12.45 pm, the accused were brought by the Police. Immediately, an operational vehicle of famous Tangbei, the security outfit of the Bayelsa State government with three armed mobile policemen was stationed outside the court premises.

The charge sheet read: That you Toremeye Fibi, Ukalizebe Benard and Beneyi Blackie Best and others at large on the 22nd day of October 2010 at the Samsom Siasia Stadium Ovom, Yenagoa within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court did conspire among yourselves to commit to wit: Treasonable Felony, by forming an intention to:

Remove during the term of office otherwise than by constitutional means Governor Timipre Sylva as the Governor of Bayelsa State. To compel by intimidation the President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to change his measure, counsel, attitude and have a negative opinion about the Governor of Bayelsa State and you manifested such intention by stoning the Governor of Bayelsa State with stones, dangerous weapons, sachets of pure water, in order to discredit the Governor's administration and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the criminal Act CAP 33, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

That you Toremeye Fibi, Ukalizebe Benard and Beneyi Blackie Best and others at large on the same aforementioned date, place, and judicial division did commit treasonable felony against the Governor of Bayelsa state, Timipre Sylva by throwing stones, dangerous weapons, sachet of pure water at him during the visit of President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan Goodluck with a view to discrediting Timipre Sylva administration and subsequently remove him as Governor of Bayelsa state and thereby commit offence punishable under section 41 (b)of the criminal code Act CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

After the reading of the charge the three accused persons who were in pensive mood pleaded not guilty to the charge.

One of the three counsels representing the accused, O.J Macbere pleaded with the court for accelerated hearing because of the enormity of the case.

The defence and prosecution counsels agreed that the hearing proper should be fixed for the first week in December.

Before the Judge adjourned the case, the prosecution counsel, Henry Ogbeiwi requested that the accused be remanded in prison custody but Macbere objected stating that keeping the accused at Ahoada would keep them away from their people.

Justice Alkawa  who explained to Macbere that he was engaging in speculation as he has no evidence that the accused would not be properly catered for at Ahoada prisons  ruled that they should kept in prison custody.