Nigerian News Update:
The Federal Government, on Wednesday, arraigned 15 suspected invaders of the residence of Supreme Court Judge, Justice Mary Odili, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The suspects were arraigned before Justice Nkeonye Maha on 18-count amended charge bordering on forgery, criminal trespass, intimidation, extortion, among others, contrary to the sections of the law.
In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/436/2021, they were also alleged to have threatened Justice Odili and members of her household with injury to her person and reputation with intent to execute an illegal search warrant.
Although 22 defendants are on the charge, seven of them are still at large.
Earlier, Counsel to the prosecution, Mathew Omosun from the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters, told the court that he had an amended 18 counts dated Dec. 13 and filed Dec. 14.
“We have a charge dated Nov. 21 and filed the same day.
“We also have amended charge dated Dec. 3 and file the same day.
“We equally have an amended charge dated Dec 10 and filed Dec. 13.
“Further to these, we have an amended charge dated Dec. 13 and filed Dec. 14.
“We seek to withdraw those aforementioned charges and amended charges.
“But we have 18-count charge dated Dec. 13 and filed Dec. 14,” he said.
He prayed the court for the counts to be read to the 15 defendants so they could take their plea.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
Omosun urged the court to make an order remanding the defendants in a correctional centre pending the hearing and determination of the matter in view of their non-guilty plea.
But lawyers to the defendants informed that applications for bail had been filed in respect of their clients.
The prosecution did not oppose the motions.
Justice Maha, then, stood down for 30 minutes to deliver her ruling.
Some of the defendants arraigned include Lawrence Adjodo (a.k.a. Ola Ojo) , Michael Diete-Spiff, Alex Onyekuru, Bayero Lawal (a.k.a EFCC director), Igwe Ernest, Aliyu Umar Ibrahim, Hajiya Maimuna Maishanu, Dr Ayodele Akindipe (a.k.a. Herbalist), Yusuf Adamu (a.k.a. Godson to Chief Peter Odili), Others are Bashir Musa, ASP Mohammed Yahaya, Stanley Nkwazema, Shehu Jibo, Abdullahi Adamu and Abdullahi Usman.
The seven defendants at large include Ike Ezekwe, L/CPL Mike, Sani Bala, Godwin Lucas, Solomon Bagudu, Austin M. and Michael M.
Meanwhile, Justice Maha, stood down proceedings to rule on bail application of the defendants.