AGF stalls trial of suspects who burnt Rivers Assembly, killed DPO


The trial of five loyalists of Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State before the Federal high court, Abuja over terrorism related offences could not proceed on Tuesday following a request for adjournment by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).

Fagbemi, SAN said he was yet to get the necessary casefile from the police to decide on the next line of action.

The five men charged with terrorism offences by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in the case are Chime Eguma Ezebalike, Prince Lukman Oladele, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Osiga Donald and Ochueja Thankgod.

BAR & BENCH WATCH reports the Attorney-General of the Federation had invoked his powers under section 174 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution to take over the case from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) who initiated the terrorism charge against the defendants.

The section provides that the Attorney-General; of the Federation shall have powers to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other authority or person.

Fagbemi, through his lawyer, David Kaswe, spoke on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Abuja during the continuation of the trial of the five loyalists.

The quintet is facing trial for their alleged complicity in the burning of Rivers State House of Assembly and killing of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO).

The AGF said he had directed the IGP to transfer the case file to his office in the Federal Ministry of Justice for a review of the defendants’ indictments.

But at Tuesday’s resumption of the trial before Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon, the AGF informed the Court that he had not effectively taken over the trial because the IGP had yet to comply with his directive to transfer the case file to him.

Subsequently, he applied for an adjournment to enable the Police Chief to comply with his order, study the case file, and take a proper position.

When Justice Olajuwon asked IGP’s lawyer, Simon Lough (SAN), why the case file had not been transmitted to the AGF, he blamed the delay on administrative bottleneck.

The judge, however, counselled that the IGP complies with the AGF directive and thereafter shifted the trial’s resumption to May 7, 2024.

Justice Olajuwon also ordered that the five defendants be returned to Kuje prison in Abuja to continue their remand.

Share your story or advertise with us: Whatsapp: +2348179614306 Email:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here