A Magistrate’s Court sitting in Port Harcourt has remanded a governorship aspirant, Farah Dagogo, in police custody.
The court asked that Dagogo be sent back to police custody due to its non-jurisdiction to handle one of the charges following the new law in criminal justice.
Dagogo, who is standing trial on two charges of conspiracy to commit felony to cause a breach of peace and instigate members of secret cult to disrupt a screening process at the state secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party in Port Harcourt, did not take his plea.
The Presiding Chief Magistrate, Amadi Nna, after sighting the two counts against the defendant, could not allow the charges, sighting a new rule which did not empower the Magistrate Court to hear a case of cultism.
The Chief Magistrate ordered that the police should do the needful and remanded him to police custody before adjourning to 9th of May, 2022.
Speaking to journalists after the court sitting, a counsel for Farah Dagogo, Bright Batubo, explained why the defence counsel was opposed to the application for the defendant to take his plea.
“The charges, particularly Count Two, surpassed the threshold of what the Magistrate Court can entertain. The prosecution counsel asked the court for application for a remand this was not complied with.
“The court agreed with our argument and insisted that the said provision be complied with. Except that is done, the court does not have anything to do with the matter,” he stated.
But the principal state counsel, prosecuting the case, Chidi Ekeh, explained why the defendant was remanded in police custody
“Argument was made from both sides and the court directed that the section should be complied with. But in the interim, he was not release on bail. He was remanded in police custody till the next adjourned date,” Eke stated.
Meanwhile, former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for Dagogo’s immediate and unconditional release.
Peterside, in a statement from his Media Office said Dagogo’s arrest had no locus standi in any known Nigerian law or statue, including the Miscellaneous Offences Act, described Wike as a governor desperate to gag free speech and democratic rights of Rivers citizens.
He challenged the governor to justify his reasons for the arrest of the lawmaker other than his quest to remain a political alpha and omega who would not brood any fair contest.
“What Wike is working at is to annex every independent mind and cow every Rivers citizen into sheepish acquiescence.
“But what he plays ignorant of is that from the times of Harold Dappa-Biriye, Melford Okilo, Obi Wali, Timothy Birabi, all nationalists and democrats, Rivers had never suffered fools to muzzle them. So, we shall keep to that historic attitude and would never surrender to Wike and his goons,” he stated.
Peterside, who is the immediate past Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, queried Wike on how he obtained evidence linking the lawmaker to an alleged disruption of proceedings at the Rivers State Secretariat of the PDP.
Similarly, spokesman for the state Civil Society Organisation, Solomon Lenu, issued a one-week ultimatum for Dagogo to be released
“I also call on the Police Commissioner, Friday Eboka, to be professional in the matter concerning Dagogo.
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