Court remands Kogi activist for declaring Wada’s govt illegal, declines bail

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A Lokoja Upper Area Court II sitting in Kogi on Monday ordered the remand of a Human Rights activist and Publisher, Akwu Goodman, 48, in prison over Unlawful Assembly.

President of the court, Hon. Clifford Oyelude in handing down the order on arraignment of Goodman said the oral application for bail by his counsel would be sorted out later.

Akwu was said to have questioned the legitimacy and legality of the election and subsequent inauguration of Capt. Idris Wada as governor of Kogi State in a protest letter to the State House of Assembly.

According to the prosecuting police officer, Ajengbe Oluwayomi, the accused was alleged to have on March 19, “criminally conspired together and illegally led a protest to Kogi State House of Assembly complex.”
The protest was said to be inciting members of the public against the governor as it alleged that Gov. Wada was illegally occupying the seat of power in Kogi Government House.

The protesting group, the prosecution further said, also published the same inciting information in ‘This Day Newspaper’ of March 24, 2014 “to cause disaffection and public disturbance in the state.”

Leading the group under the aegis of ‘Association for Justice and Good Governance’ to the Assembly Complex, Akwu had called for implementation of the January 27 and February 17, 2012 Supreme Court Judgement.

The judgement, according to him, called for fresh elections in the five states where governors’ tenure were illegally elongated.

The prosecutor, Oluwayomi opposed admitting the accused to bail on the ground that the offences were serious in nature and that police investigations in the matter were on-going as she applied for another date for mention.

Leading a team of lawyers for the accused, Williams Aliwo Esq. urged the court to grant bail to the accused as the alleged offences were bailable and submitted that the seriousness of a case ought not to be on the lips of the prosecutor but the law.

Oyelude flanked by two other judges of the Upper Area Court held that having carefully considered the application for bail, he was unable to grant the bail.

He accordingly ordered that Goodman be remanded in Federal Prisons custody in Koton-Karfe as he adjourned the case to April 22, for mention.