A Magistrate Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State, has granted bail to the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to Senator Rochas Okorocha, Eberendu Chiimechefulem, his legislative aide, Steve Asinuobi and 12 others who reportedly invaded the Royal Spring Palm Hotel in the state capital on Sunday.
The 14 defendants were granted a N5m bond bail each on Monday by Magistrate B.U. Adikaibe, bringing the total sum to the N70 million.
Some of the other defendants include Ebere Nwoke, Basil Mba, Ebuka Samuel, Darlington Ibekwe, Obasi Goodluck, Nwaiwu Ndubuisi, Ekpendu Peace, and Ebere Nwokeobi.
They were charged before the court by the state Commissioner of Police, Nasiru Mohammed over a six-count charge.
Adikaibe, who ruled on the bail application made for the release of the defendants by their lead defence counsel, Eddy Onyema, insisted that a traditional ruler in the state or a member of his cabinet must stand in as a surety for them before the bail would be perfected.
Justice Adikaibe said the decision to grant the bail application was because the charges were not capital criminal offenses and are all bailable offenses even though the prosecuting counsel had earlier objected to the bail.
The defendants were arraigned on a six-count charge bordering “conspiracy, breach of public peace, possession of firearms, unlawful destruction of the official seal of the Imo State Government, defamatory actions on the social media against the governor of the state with the intent to injure the reputation of the state government and the person of the state governor, and disturbance to a lawful order.”
Adikaibe had taken a 15-minute break to enable her rule on the bail application presented by lead defence counsel, Eddy Onyema, which was necessitated by the slumping of one of the defendants, Ibekwe who collapsed while she was reading her ruling.The case has been adjourned till March 18.
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