HomeNewsGov Fubara’s Chief Of Staff Ehie Declared Wanted By Police Over Burning...

Gov Fubara’s Chief Of Staff Ehie Declared Wanted By Police Over Burning Of Assembly

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, struck out an application filed by Edison Ehie, the Chief of Staff (CoS) to Gov. Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers, seeking an order to strike out the charge against him and others for want of jurisdiction.

Ehie, whose name was mentioned, was alleged to be at large with other suspects.

Justice Bolaji Olajuwon, in a ruling, held that Ehie, having not been joined as a defendant in the charge, but declared as being at large by the police, lacked the legal right to make such plea.

Justice Olajuwon also struck out the CoS’ prayer for an order striking out his name anywhere it might appear in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/25/2024.

The Judge agreed with the police lawyer, Simon Lough, SAN, that having not been joined as a defendant in the charge, Ehie’s application cannot be heard.

Ehie, who was recently appointed as CoS after he resigned as member and factional speaker of the assembly, was alleged to be among the suspects charged by the I-G for committing the offence.

Five suspected arsonists of the Rivers House of Assembly were, on Jan. 25, arraigned before Justice Olajuwon on seven-count charge bordering on alleged terrorism, among others.

The five defendants arraigned are Chime Eguma Ezebalike, Prince Lukman Oladele, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Osiga Donald and Ochueja Thankgod.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the seven-count charge and were ordered to remain in Kuje Correctional Centre until today when their respective bail applications would be determined by the judge.

Upon resumed hearing today, Ehie’s lawyer, Oluwole Aladedoye, SAN, informed the court that he had filed an application dated and filed on Jan. 24, seeking for two orders.

He said the parties had been served accordingly.

Aladedoye said the application was brought pursuant to Sections 6 and 36 of 1999 Constitution.

He argued that it was incorrect that Ehie, whose name featured in the counts preferred by the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police had no right to make this application.

“It would have been different if the name is not there at all,” he added.

The senior lawyer equally argued that in their affidavit it was clearly stated that at no times was his client ever invited by the police.

He urged the court to grant their prayers.

But police counsel, Lough, disagreed with him.

Lough said though he was served with Ehie’s application, the motion was not ripe for hearing.

According to him, the application is incompetent in view of Section 396(2) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

He said since Ehie was challenging the jurisdiction of the court, the provision of the law says until an applicant is joined and takes his plea before he can have the right to file such motion.

“His (Ehie’s) name is not in the charge and has not applied to be joined. So his application is incompetent,” he said,praying the court to strike it out.

Justice Olajuwon, who agreed with Lough, asked: “Who is this person? The person is not a party in this charge and the order challenging the jurisdiction of the court is refused.”

The Judge said Ehie’s name was only mentioned as a person who is at large, which was just a statement.

She held that the CoS was yet to be joined as a defendant in the charge.

The Judge said that if Ehie was not at large, he should make himself available to the police.

“If that person is not at large, let him make himself available to the police,” she said.

Olajuwon subsequently struck out Ehie’s prayer seeking to strike out his name anywhere it was mentioned in the charge.

Meanwhile, the Judge had stood down the matter to hear the bail applications of the five defendants.



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