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