By FELIX IGBEKOYI, Owerri
The controversy between Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and Senator Rochas Okorocha has taken a new dimension as most of the latters Aides have been reminded for their inability to meet up with the bail conditions.
Imo Traditional Rulers were said to have distanced themselves from their bail conditions inorder not to be scolded by the state government.
The 14 loyalists arraigned were Darlington Ibekwe, Obasi Goodluck, Nwaiwu Ndubuisi, Median Ijeoma, Obor Victor, Ucheka Claudin, Sunday Chisom and Ekpendu Peace.
Others were Nev F. Raphael, Basil Mba, Steve Asimobi, Ebere Nwokeji, Eberendu Chimechifulam and Olu Chizoba.re.
The magistrate, B. U. Adikaibe, in her ruling last Monday, granted all the 14 accused persons bail with N5 million each totaling N70 million and a surety of a Traditiinal Ruler for each of them, conditions the court said must be fulfilled before they would regain their freedom.
While Okorocha, a former Governor of the State was released on self recognition, others were taken to court and could not get any Traditional Ruler to take them on bail.
After a six-count charge was read to the suspects, council to the defendants, Eddy Onyema, sought for their bail, assuring that they would return to the court to take their trial.
Onyema noted that none of the charges against the defendants was a capital offence, said, “worst, some of them are felony. That’s why we’re seeking for their bail”.
Police prosecutor, Omo-Osagie M. A. told the court that Okorocha’s former appointees, Lasbery Okaforanyanwu, Ijeoma Igboanusi and his son in-laws, Uche Nwosu and Dr. Uzoma Anwuka, were at large.
While Ibekwe was also accused of publishing a recorded defamatory matter on social media with intent to injure the reputation of the state government and the person of Governor Hope Uzodimma by exposing to hatred, contempt, ridicule and damage his reputation, Olu Chizoba was charged with unlawful possession of double barrel pump action gun without license.
Okorocha was arrested after he was alleged to have broken into an estate belonging to his wife which was sealed by the state government.
The Imo West Senator while speaking on his arrest had accused the state Governor, Hope Uzodinma of ordering his arrest.
Orlando Ikeokwu, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, disclosed too that Okorocha’s loyalists were accused of conspiring among themselves to disobey a lawful order issued by the state by removing the seal of the state government and entering into the sealed premises of Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartments belonging to Okorocha.
Ikeokwu also hinted that the command has nothing to do with their prosecution if found guilty, explaining that the former governor was only, “invited” for “questioning” over the unsealing of the Spring Palm Estate.
“He was released later at night. If anybody is found culpable, definitely, he will be charged to court. If an investigation proves that they committed an offence, they would be charged to court,” he said. (Daily Independent)