The Department of State Security Service (DSS) on Tuesday moved a step further in senitising the nation’s electoral process by arraigning two suspects arrested during the Rivers re-run, last month.
The suspects arraigned are the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Kenneth Kobani and a chieftain of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state, Hon. Azubuike Chikere Wanjoku.
They were brought before Justice Liman Mohammad of Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Kobani was arraigned on three count charge of breach of peace and breakdown of law and order.
The SSG was accused of breaching peace by leading his followers to barricade the entrance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Port Harcourt during the rerun election. The APC chieftan was also arraigned on a three -count charge.
He was accused of causing breach of peace by falsely accusing one Kingsley Osifu, the Ikwerre INEC Electoral Officer, of receiving an unspecified amount of money from him.
The prosecutor, Mr. C.S. Eze, urged the court to allow them pick a new date for hearing.
Before then, Justice Liman read the charges to the accused persons.
The charges in part reads: “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
“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 adhoc staff from discharging their duties and causing stampede in the vicinity thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249 d of the criminal code.
“that on or about 19 March ,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 adhoc 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. Kobani pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Justice Liman Mohammed later granted him bail on self recognition and adjourned the matter to June 15 for hearing.
Kobani is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state. On his part , Wanjoku who was APC candidate for Ikwerre state House of Assembly constituency seat in the rerun election was charged for allegedly falsefully accusing the Ikwerre INEC Electoral Officer , Mr Kingsley Osifu of collecting some amount of money from him to disrupt public order and security, thereby committed an offence to and punishable under section 516 of the criminal code Act.
The second count charge said the conduct of Wanjoku allegedly obstructed the public officer from discharging his official duty, an act punishable under the criminal code.
The third count charge alleged that Wanjoku threatened to forcefully demand refund of the said money from the INEC officer , thereby committed an offence contrary to criminal code.
He also pleaded not guilty.
Justice Liman granted him bail with the sum of N500,000 , ordering 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 met.