A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt Thursday issued two bench warrants directing the Rivers State Police Commissioner to immediately arrest and produce a former Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Director General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Tonye Cole’s Campaign Organisation, Chidi Lloyd, to appear before it for attempted murder.
This is coming as the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has raised the alarm that it has uncovered a plot by Governor Nyesom Wike, and his aides to blackmail the party.
Justice Chinwendu Nwogu of the Rivers State High Court 19 issued the two bench warrants following the absence of Lloyd and his counsels at the court.
The court ordered that Lloyd be detained at the Port Harcourt Federal Prisons and be produced in court on January 10, 2019 to take his plea on the attempted murder trial.
The former majority leader was expected to take his plea in Charge No: PH/692CR/2018 – The State V. Chidi Llyod and Charge No: PH/693 CR/2018 – The State V. Chidi Llyod.
Lloyd’s lawyers were in court on Wednesday on the same cases when their objection was dismissed. Yesterday, the same counsel appeared and registered their names before the court, only to disappear when the case was mentioned.
Addressing journalists after the court sitting, Counsel to the Rivers State Government, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), stated that the state is ready for the expeditious trial of the former lawmaker.
He said: “The defendant’s absence was not excused at all. On the basis of that, we applied for bench warrants to be issued for the two different cases to compel the appearance of the defendant in court on the next adjourned date of January 10, 2019.
“Two bench warrants have now been issued mandating the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State to arrest and to detain Chidi Lloyd in Port Harcourt prison till the next adjourned date and to produce the defendant in court on the next adjourned date.”
Also, APC State Chairman, Mr. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, was absent in court to take his plea in his second murder trial before Hon. Justice Joy Akpughunum.
Meanwhile, the APC in the state has said it has uncovered a plot by Governor Nyesom Wike, and his aides to blackmail APC, Chief Chidi Lloyd, and Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree.
A statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Finebone, said, “the plot which was hatched and being perfected in the office of the Chief of Staff, Emeka Woke, involves the printing of APC logo on T-shirts and handing same to select Neighbourhood Watch recruits who will go to carry out protests and violence in some predetermined local government areas to give the impression that such protests are being carried out by APC youths over the ongoing persecution of Lloyd and Flag-Amachree by the state government.
“The ultimate objective of the plot is to inundate the local, national and international media with the false information purporting same to be the handiwork of APC. The governor and his people will then draw the attention of the public especially that of the diplomatic and international communities to a purported spate of violence by the APC in order to give the party and the federal government a bad name.”
He stated that the APC has no reason to embark on any exercise that will engender violence in Rivers State.
“Any matters concerning Lloyd, Flag-Amachree and indeed any other member of APC remain matters that will in due time be dispensed with by the court of law and not by any other means irrespective of the obvious sinister intentions of those behind such matters,” he said.