The Department of State Security (DSS) yesterday arraigned Secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), Kenneth Kobani and a stalwart of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Azubuike Wanjoku at the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
Both men were arraigned over alleged conducts that constituted threat to public peace during the March 19, 2016, rerun elections in the state.
Kobani and others at large, were charged for allegedly committing offence punishable by the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011.
The charges read in part: “That you Kenneth Kobani with others at large, on or about March 3, 2016, at a meeting held in your residence at Bodo community, Gokana local government did conspire to carry out activities that could cause the breach of the peace and break down of law and order on the 19 March 2016, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act.”
Count two read: “That you Kenneth Kobani and others at large, on or about March 19, 2016, at the premises of INEC office, Gokana LGA, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court did conduct yourself in a manner that caused the breach of peace by leading and instructing your followers to barricade the entrance of the INEC office, prevent officials of the commission and other ad hoc staff from discharging their duties and causing stampede in the vicinity, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249 of the Criminal Code”
Count three, “That, on or about March 19, 2016, at the premises of INEC office, Gokana LGA, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, did hold Mr. James Simon, an official of the commission and other ad hoc staff hostage until their eventual rescue by security personnel, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011.”
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The trial judge, Justice Liman Mohammed, granted him bail on self-recognition and adjourned the matter till June 15, for hearing.
Similarly, Wanjoku who contested for Ikwerre Constituency seat for state House of Assembly in the rerun election was charged for allegedly falsely accusing the Ikwerre INEC Electoral Officer, Mr. Kingsley Osifu of collecting some amount of money from him to disrupt public order and security, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act.
Count two charge said the conduct of Wanjoku allegedly obstructed the public officer from discharging his official duty, an act punishable under the Criminal Code.
Wanjoku was also alleged to have threatened to forcefully demand refund of the said money from the INEC officer, thereby committing an offence contrary to Criminal Code.
He also pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of N500,000.
Part of the bail conditions is that he should get a senior civil servant to sign surety for him.
The Judge also ordered that he be remanded in prosecution custody till the bail condition was meta