Attempted Murder: Drama As Police Bring Delta Monarch To Court In A Stretcher

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SAN FRANCISCO, February 12, (THEWILL) - It was not a funny experience Wednesday for a  monarch in Delta State as a  Magistrate Court, sitting in Asaba, the state capital, ordered that he be remanded in  Oguwashi-Uku prison.

The order came despite a mild drama that played out at the court as the monarch who was brought into the court room in a stretcher, in company of a female medical doctor, convulsed repeatedly thus causing a stir.

He had earlier collapsed Monday at the State Police Command after his arrest for allegedly giving false information to the police but  was later revived at a private hospital.

The monarch,  Obi Uche Irenuma 11 of Abavo Kingdom, Ika South Local Government Area of the state,   was arraigned with four other suspects on charges bordering on  attempted murder, arson, giving false information and breach of public peace.

Listing the charges against the suspects, the presiding magistrate, Mrs.

Queen M.
Momoh,  reading from  the police charge sheet number CMA/75/C2014,  said    ' Obi Uche Irenuma , Uwamagbe Onyekew Festus , Irenuma Ogochukwu, Amadi Chison and Prince Chinedu Irenuma'  conspired  among themselves 'to  commit felony to wit  attempted  murder.

' They   were also alleged to have  'unlawfully  attempted to murder one Godwin Abraham,   promoted ethnic war  against Abavo Kingdom , an ethnic group in Delta state , and  maliciously damaged properties  of Andrew Jegbefume, Prince  Ike Nwajie , Prince Obaseki , Onyishi Ehator , Afagbon Celestine and Emmanuel  Euogo.

' The Abavo monarch was also accused of  giving false information  to the  State Commissioner of Police   that Queen Mother of Abavo Kingdom  had been  kidnapped.

The offences, according to the charge sheet are   punishable under Sections 42, 320, 451 and 516,  of  the Criminal  Code Law  Cap C21 vol.

1, laws of Delta State of Nigeria 2006.
Before the 16-count  charge was  read out to the accused persons,  the monarch   convulsed repeatedly, thus  causing  a stir in the court room, a situation that triggered off an argument  .

Ifeanyi Agwulor, who led  three other  lawyers,  objected  to the arraignment, saying  'it's only a medically fit person that can stand trial as the first accused person( Obi Irenuma)  is not fit  because he  was  brought from the hospital where he is  taking treatment.

' He  also challenged the jurisdiction of the court to arraign the accused persons, saying the Magistrate Court lacked power and jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Agwulor also challenged the move by the prosecuting counsel to amend the charges.

However, the prosecution, Mr.
Okey, leading  O.
Agbede, opposed to the defense counsel's application over jurisdiction of the court to hear the cases, arguing that sections 236 and 701  of the Criminal Code give the court the power to assume jurisdiction over the matter.

Ruling on the matter after hearing both arguments, the Presiding Magistrate Momoh said  Section 163 of the criminal procedure law empowers her to assume jurisdiction, as she maintained that    she has a written authority from the chief judge of the state to assume jurisdiction over the matter.

The magistrate therefore ordered that the monarch should be taken to the Police Medical  Hospital  for treatment as she adjourned the matter  till March  11  for mentioning.

Abavo kingdom has been engulfed in a kingship tussle following attempts by some persons to install Obi Chukwuma Sunday Jegbefume 111 as the King.

Over 20 persons were arrested in the mayhem that engulfed the community following the attempted enthronement of a new monarch while 19 others were declared wanted by the police.

Efforts by the Delta State Government to resolve the  tussle failed as  parties in the tussle decided to head  to the courts.