Rivers Assembly: Court Declines To Dismiss Terrorism Charges Against Edison Ehie

Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court in Abuja has declined to dismiss the terrorism offences charges brought against the Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Governor Edison Ehie.

Justice Olajuwon held that Ehie who was the then Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly lacked legal powers to request for dismissal of the charges.

He upheld the submission of the counsel to the Inspector General of Police, Simon Lough, that Ehie was not yet competent to make any application until he appears in court to take his plea in the terrorism charges.

Ehie through his lawyer, Oluwole Aladedoye, had applied that the criminal charges against him and others be dropped on various grounds.

He claimed that the Federal High Court in Abuja has no jurisdiction to entertain the trial because the alleged offences were committed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He also claimed that he had not been indicted by the police for any offence.

His request was however opposed on the ground that Ehie had not yet appeared before the court to take his plea.

The counsel for the police cited section 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ACJA 2015.

In a brief ruling, Justice Olajuwon dismissed the request of the former Speaker and upheld the arguments of the Inspector General of Police.

The judge added that the charge sheet only indicated that Ehie is at large and not yet listed on the charge as required by law.

Justice Olajuwon counselled the Chief of Staff to either surrender himself to the police or appear in court to take a plea before he could qualify to make any application.

The five defendants on the charge sheet are Chime Eguma Ezebalike, Prince Lukman Oladele, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Osiga Donald, and Ochueja ThankGod.

In the seven-count charges, the defendants were accused of committing alleged terrorism offences by invading, vandalizing, and burning down the Rivers State House of Assembly in the wake of the political crisis that rocked Port Harcourt in October last year.