Court remands 2 persons over missing Anambra LP gov candidate

 Anambra High Court sitting in Nnewi has remanded two persons suspected to have a hand in the missing governorship candidate of the Labour Party, LP in the 2021 Anambra State poll, Chief Obiora Agbasimelo.

The suspects, Jude Chukwudi Odimegwu and Nwokolo Chukwudi Maxwell, are facing a criminal charge bothering on the kidnapping of Agbasimelo while on a campaign tour at Lilu in Ihiala local government area ahead of the 2021 election. Agbasimelo has been missing till date.

The suspects, Jude Chukwudi Odimegwu and Nwokolo Chukwudi Maxwell, are facing a criminal charge bothering on the kidnapping of Agbasimelo while on a campaign tour at Lilu in Ihiala local government area ahead of the 2021 election. Agbasimelo has been missing till date.

When the case came up, both the prosecuting state counsel, Charity Madukaife, an Assistant Director of Prosecution, and Chima Gift, counsel to the first defendant, Jude Chukwudi Odimegwu, were present in court, while the counsel to Nwokolo Maxwell was absent, prompting the adjournment of the matter to October 27, 2023 by the presiding judge, Justice C N Mbonu-Nwenyi.

Justice Mbonu-Nwenyi, however, warned that she would not tolerate further undue delay in the prosecution of the matter, noting that so far, it is the defence and not the court that has been delaying the case.

The Department of State Services, DSS, had in Charge No. MAW/506/2022, arraigned the accused persons before a Magistrate court sitting at Awka on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping and consequently, the court remanded them in the prison custody without taking their plea.

According to the charge, the accused persons had on September 18, 2021 at Lilu in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, attacked and caused disappearance of of the victim, Obiorah Agbasimalo, Labour Party candidate in the 2021 governorship elections whose whereabouts is still yet unknown.

The offences, the prosecution stated, were contrary to Sections 495 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 36, Vol. II, Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991 and 315 (2) (a) (b) (c) of the Criminal Code (Amended) Law of Anambra state of Nigeria, 2009.

While remanding them in prison custody, the court also ordered the police to transfer the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, for legal advice.

The DPP, in turn, came up with the same two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping. The DPP alleged that while armed with guns and other offensive weapons, the accused persons kidnapped Obiorah Agbasimalo against his will and thereafter demanded ransom of N1 million, N5 million and another N1 million totalling N7 million from his family to effect his release.

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