Sunday, 4 September 2016

OKLOBIA, WOMBO, OTHERS REGAIN FREEDOM

By Bemgba Iortyom.
The latest attempt by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to give legal bite to the Justice Kpojime Commission of Inquiry Report failed yesterday as authorities of the Nigeria Police Force developed cold feet over arraigning in court former Commissioner of Finance, Omadachi Oklobia, the Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Solomon Wombo, and seven other members of the immediate past government of Gabriel Suswam in the state.



Oklobia, Wombo and seven others were arrested in Makurdi a couple of days back by men of the Nigeria Police Force and taken to the force headquarters in Abuja, but attempt to arraign them in court was shelved by police authorities yesterday following a suit instituted at a Federal High Court in Abuja by lawyers challenging their arrest and the duo of Oklobia and Wombo were set free with the others to follow soon.

Innocent Daagba Esq. leading Barristers Terlumun Tombowua and Clement Tela Mue had yesterday approached the Federal High Court in Abuja praying it to set free Oklobia, Wombo and the others arrested claiming they were wrongly arrested.

The grounds adduced in the suit include that the matter of the Justice Kpojime Report is pending in court and as such it is subjudice for the police to arrest those accused, even as it also amounts to duplication of roles for the police to initiate separate prosecution on a matter that is already under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The learned gentlemen also drew the attention of the court to the fact that it amounts to double standards to have arrested the former Secretary of the Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC), Barrister Tyokegh, while leaving out Mrs. Sheidu, the former head of the property company who was jointly indicted with Barr. Tyokegh to the tune of N3.1 billion.

It is also the argument of the learned counsel that the Kpojime Report is not a judgement of a court and as such not enforceable by the police as seem to be their desire.

But sources have revealed that the attempt to arrest and arraign those accused in the Kpojime Report is the latest in a series of desperate gambits by Gov. Ortom to rope in his predecessor, former governor, Gabriel Suswam, and members of his administration in a possible bid to paint the past administration in bad light and digress attention from the mounting failures of his own government.

The arrest of Oklobia, Wombo and the others is said to have been hatched by Gov. Ortom with the aid of House of Reps member for Sankera Federal Constituency, Emmanuel Udende, who is a member of the House Committee on Police Affairs, and executed through the Special Investigations Panel headed by a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police.

The police authorities at the force headquarters are said to have developed cold feet over the matter when served with notice of the suit instituted again them and had consequently set free Oklobia and Wombo with others set to follow soon.

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