Armed police operatives and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) personnel clashed recently at the premises of Evbuoriaria Magistrate court, Sapele road in Benin City.
The power tussle among the actors, according to sources, almost scuttled the arraignment of the youth Leader (Okaghele) of Obazagbon Village in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, Mr. Joshua Edo who was accused of assaulting a Benin-based physically challenged Nigerian, Mr. Ogbeni Kingsley with a fist on his left eye, which caused the victim harm.
Trouble started immediately EFCC operatives from Benin zonal office, emerged from no where and took over strategic location in the premises, apparently to arrest Mr. Edo, former Chairman of the disbanded Community Development Association (CDA) in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the State.
Upon spending danger, the police personnel who were present at the scene, called for reinforcement and resisted the EFCC operatives from effecting the arrest of Mr. Edo for undisclosed crime.
It was learnt that after the drama by EFCC operatives and the police personnel, and the solidarity songs by angry youths from Village had abated, the youth leader of Obazagbon was thereafter arraigned in a two count charge bothering on assault and unlawful damage in suit No MOR/172c/ 2021.
He however pleaded not guilty when the charges were read during the court sitting.
Part of the charges read: Count 1: “That you Joshua Edo ‘m’ on the 24th day of April, 2021, about 6: 00 pm at Benoni Junction, off Airport road, in Benin Magisterial District did unlawfully assault one Ogbeni Kingsley ‘m’ with a fist blow on his left eye and caused him harm and thereby committed an offence Punishable under Section 355 of the Criminal Code Cap 48 Volume II Laws of defunct Bendel State of Nigeria as applicable in Edo State”.
Count 2: “That Joshua Edo ‘m’ on the aforementioned date, place and Magisterial District did unlawfully damage the left side mirror of one Toyota Camry car with Registration No. RRU33NE (Edo State) valued ₦5000, property of one Ogbeni Kingsley ‘m’ and thereby committed an offence Punishable under Section 451 of the Criminal Code Cap 48 Volume II Laws of defunct Bendel State of Nigeria as applicable in Edo State”.
Counsel to the defendant, Mr. Foroijoh Godfrey, moved the bail application which was not opposed by the prosecution.
The court however, granted the accused Mr. Edo bail in the like sum of ₦100, 000 in like sum.
The court also held that the surety must be gainfully employed and reside in the Magisterial District.
The case was therefore adjourned to May 13, 2021 for hearing.
Following the inability of the accused person to perfect his bail conditions on Tuesday, he was returned to police custody.
His kinsmen in Obazagbon Village, threw party to celebrate his release from police custody on Wednesday night, amid jubilation.
In the meantime, the Edo State Government has also disclosed plans to takeover the case.
Arising from the outrage that greeted the incident by Nigerians in social Media Community, the Coordinator of the Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network, Mr. Yusuf Haruna, disowned Mr. Edo.
Haruna, said in a Press release that the accused person has no affiliation with the new Community policing architecture in the State.