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ICYMI: Court remands 2 suspects for kidnap, disappearance of Anambra 2021 Labour guber candidate, Agbasimalo

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The Anambra State High Court sitting in Nnewi has remanded Jude Chukwudi Odimegwu and Nwokolo Chukwudi Maxwell over charges of kidnapping and disappearance of the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) 2021 Anambra State governorship election, Engineer Obiora Agbasimalo.

The suspects are standing trial in suit No. HIH/15C/22 for the alleged kidnapping and disappearance of the Labour Party governorship candidate, Engineer Agbasimalo.

Recall that News band reported in September 2021, that unidentified gunmen abducted the Labour party governorship candidate while returning from a campaign rally.

Engineer Agbasimalo was kidnapped on September 18, 2021 at Lilu community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The whereabouts of Agbasimalo have remained unknown ever since his reported disappearance.

When the case was called up, both the prosecuting state counsel, Charity Madukaife Esq., an Assistant Director of Prosecution and China Gift Esq., counsel to the first defendant, Jude Chukwudi Odimegwu were present in court.

However, Thompson Ogueriwù Esq., the counsel to Nwokolo Chukwudi Maxwell, the second defendant, was conspicuously absent in the court.

The presiding judge of Nnewi High Court No. 1, His Lordship, Justice C.N. Mbonu-Nwenyi, ordered continued remand of the two suspects in prison and adjourned further hearing till October 27, 2023, following the absence of Ogueriwu.

Justice Mbonu-Nwenyi, while adjourning the matter for definite hearing, warned the defence against further delay in the prosecution of the matter.

She noted that the defence, and not the court, is unnecessarily delaying the case.

The Department of State Services (DSS) had arraigned the accused persons before a Magistrate court sitting at Awka, the state capital on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping and the court, consequently, remanded them in the prison custody without taking their plea.

According to the charge read by the DSS in court, 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, governorship candidate in the 2021 governorship elections whose whereabouts is still yet unknown at present.

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.

The court also ordered the police to transfer the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice.

The DPP, upon receipt of the case file, maintained the same two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping, stating that the suspects, armed with guns and other offensive weapons, kidnapped Agbasimalo against his will.

The suspects, thereafter, demanded a ransom of N1 million, N5 million and another N1 million from his family for his release but never released him till date.

They were later arrested by security operatives following due investigation. Read more.

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©Copyright 2023 News Band

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