Zara Nwachinaemere, Abakaliki
Four members of Tipper Drivers Union, Abakaliki, were Tuesday, arraigned by Ebonyi State Police Command, over alleged illegal protest and breach of public peace.
The drivers were accused of carrying out illegal protest against one Emeka Nwibo and members of his Caretaker Committee for the purpose of forcibly removing him from office.
The accused persons, Mr. Paul Nwogudu, Chukwuebuka Chukwu, Ebonyi Chukwudi and Ehiri Kelechi were arraigned in an Abakaliki Magistrate Court 3, Presided over by Blessing Chukwu Ibeabuchi, on a 3 count charge.
The charge sheet, reads: “that you Paul Nwogudu ‘M’, Chukwuebuka Chukwu ‘M’, Ebonyi Chukwudi ‘M’, Ehiri Kelechi ‘M’ and others now at large on the 7th day of February 2021 at Isaiah Eze’s block Industry behind Abakaliki Rice Mill in the Abakaliki Magistrate District, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit misdemeanor to wit: unlawful assembly and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 517(A) of the Criminal Code Cap 33 Vol.1 laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2009.
They were granted bail with the sum of N200, 000 each and one surety each or with like sum after they had pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.
Magistrate Ibeabuchi, noted that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and thereafter adjoined the matter to 8th April 2021.
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the court as the court clark and security personal at the Magistrate Court 3 barred journalist from covering the court proceeding.
Over 20 journalist had stormed the court to cover the proceeding following the tension generated by the arraignment as more than 30 tipper drivers as early as 8am were in court with their heavy duty vehicles.
The heavy duty vehicles which were parked along the Government House and Ebonyi State Judiciary complex axis of the Ogoja road, caused both vehicular and human traffic along the major road.
The court clerk whose name could not be ascertained at the time of filling in this report had alleged that some Journalists were taking pictures of the suspects and thereafter ordered them out of the court room.
The matter was brought under control after journalists decided to leave the court to avoid creating tension.