Rivers Crisis Case: Youth Leader and 120 Others Are Granted Bail

Chijioke Ihunwo, the Chairman of the Rivers State chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, and 120 other individuals were brought before the magistrate court in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.....CONTINUE READING

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All the accused, including Ihunwo, appeared at Rivers Magistrate Court 22 on Wednesday, facing a five-count charge, which included conspiracy, inciting a riot, damaging the gate of the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Martins Amaewhule, unlawful assembly, and causing a breach of public peace. When the charges were read, all the accused pleaded “not guilty.”

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Following the charges, the defense counsel, Alabo Tamunowari, requested bail, asserting that they have four suitable sureties willing to provide all 121 accused persons as required. The prosecution counsel, Enyiepere Sikpi, opposed this request, raising concerns about the credibility of the sureties’ addresses.

After hearing both sides, Magistrate Gift Amadi Esq granted bail to all the defendants in the sum of 100,000 Naira each and adjourned the case to December 5, 2023, for the hearing. The number of sureties was increased to 20, with verifiable addresses. One of the defendants, Chigozie Emeh, a lawyer, was granted bail on self-recognition.

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Outside the courthouse, one of the defense counsel, Higher King Esq, expressed concerns about the police’s actions, stating that “they will go home; why won’t they go home? It’s a bailable offense.” He also criticized the hasty proceedings, with the accused being brought to court without proper investigation or proof of evidence.

The prosecution counsel declined to comment when approached by journalists.