An Oredo Magistrates’court in Benin on Thursday ordered the remand in prison custody of two chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, Osakpamwan Eriyo and Sunday Osagbona, for alleged attempted murder.
Chief Magistrate Mrs M. C. Ojobo, who said she lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case, directed that both accused persons be remanded in Oko Medium Security prison.
She said the prison has proper health facilities and directed that the case file be sent to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for legal advice.
The accused persons were charged with the attempted murder of Chief Osaro Idah, Secretary of the state’s APC.
Eriyo is the State Youth Leader of the APC and Chairman of the Road Transport Employers Association (RTEAN) while Sunday is the Ward 3 Chairman of the APC in Oredo Local Government
Their pleas were not taken.
Eriyo protested being handcuffed in the court room.
He said: “Am I a criminal? Did I kill anybody? Why are they charging me for attempted murder?
“I didn’t do anything. It is the governor that is oppressing me.”
Their Counsel, Usunobun Evbayiro, urged the court to grant them custody in the police clinic because of their ill-health.
He said his clients were hypertensive, asthmatic and diabetic and need constant medical attention.
“The first accused person collapsed in police station. It was the police doctors that revived him.
” I urge you to use your discretion to order him to be kept in police hospital so that police doctors can attend to him. It is for him not to die in custody.”
The case was adjourned till Jan. 13 for mention.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the APC chieftains’ supporters had earlier staged protests at the headquarters of the Edo State Police Command to demand their release.
The police, however, ignored the protesters and whisked the accused, under heavy security, to the court.
Similarly officials of RTEAN and suspected thugs attempted to storm the court room but they were barred by the police.
The APC chieftains were arrested following a petition sent to the police by Chief Osaro Idah that they threatened his life.