An Oredo Chief Magistrate Court, in Edo State, has ordered that a Benin-based human rights activist, Kola Edokpaiyi, be remanded in prison custody over alleged plot to invade Edo communities.
The remand of Edokpayi at the Benin Prison, followed his arraignment on a two-count charge of criminal offence.
The charges preferred against him read thus:
“That you, Kola Edokpaiyi ‘m’, and others now at large, on March 20, 2017, at NPDC, Sapele Road, within the Oredo magisterial district, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: instigating invasion of Nigeria and, thereby, committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Cap 48, Vol. II, Laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, as applicable in Edo State.
“That you, Kola Edokpaiyi ‘m’, and others now at large, on March 20, 2017, at NPDC, Sapele Road, within the Oredo magisterial district, instigated a group of intellectuals, some of whom are foreigners, to invade the NPDC office in Benin, Government House complex (and) House of Assembly, with a threat to use the military wing of the Benin Solidarity Movement to launch attacks on Uroho, Obayantor, Ajoki, Kolokolo, Ajemongha, Abiola, Ajatitou and Ikara oil-producing communities, all within the territory of Nigeria and, therefore, committed an offence punishable under Section 38 of the Criminal Code Cap 48, Vol. II, Laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, as applicable in Edo.”
Edokpyi’s arraignment was preceded by a mild drama, as he was said to have been arrested in the early hours of Tuesday by men of the State Police Command who laid siege at his residence in Benin.
The police action came after the activist allegedly evaded arrest.
Edokpyi’s plea could not be taken at the Magistrate’s Court as the Prisiding Chief Magistrate, P. I. Foy-Yamah, declined jurisdiction to entertain the action.
He therefore ordered the case file to be sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice and adjourned the case till June 29, 2017, for mention.