The 183 persons suspected to be thugs imported from Osun state to disrupt the inconclusive Anambra state guber election held last week were again arraigned, yesterday, before an Owerri Magistrate’s Court. It will be recalled that Imo state police command arrested last Thursday 183 Osun indigenes for alleged unlawful assembly and other electoral offences.
The first drama that unfolded, was the appearance of two lawyers – one each from the office of the State Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mr. Nnamdi Akobundu and the Deputy Director, Legal Services, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbodu.
Opposing the appearance of the State DPP in the matter, Ogbodu hinged his stand on Section 211 (3) of the Constitution and Section 150 of the Electoral Act.
“Section 150 of the Electoral Act specifically empowered INEC to prosecute all electoral offences. The offences contained in the charge are federal offences. The State DPP does not therefore, have any business to prosecute the matter for INEC,” Ogbodu said.
Continuing, the INEC lawyer told the court: “In view of the enormity of the offences, we would not like the DPP to be part of the prosecution.” However, the accused were granted bail in the sum of N50,000 each and two sureties in like sum