APC sees red: LGA chairman in Imo killed, Bayelsa chieftain charged for rape

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) which is shedding weight through decamping has suffered two violent incidents in one week; whereas its newly elected local council party chairman in Imo State has been assassinated, its chieftain in Bayelsa State has been charged to court for rape.

Gunmen, suspected to be hired assassins, on Friday morning killed the APC chieftain, Mr. Sunny Ejeagwu, who was the chairman for Ideato North Council Area of the party in the state.

He was among the Local Government Chairmen elected in the fresh Congress conducted in the State.

It was gathered that the party in the state has been engulfed in a battle of supremacy between the Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and his deputy, Eze Madumere, who is being impeached by the Imo State House of Assembly.

The governor has laid down N20m booty to anyone who would reveal the identity of the assassins.

In Bayelsa State, a chieftain of the party named Perekeme Kpodoh has been remanded in prison custody over alleged rape by a magistrate court sitting in Yenagoa, the state capital.

Kpodoh, popularly known as Pere Rich, was arraigned on a two-count charge at Magistrate Court 10 presided over by E. Empire-Ugwa for unlawful detention and rape of one Teke Blessing on June 20, 2018 at Etegwe axis in Yenagoa.

However, his ordeal is being seen as politically motivated as his counsel, Julius Iyekoroghe, who was represented by one Funlayeifa Seibokuru told the court that he was being arraigned for his vocal criticism of the state government.

The court said the first count which is detention and count two which is rape are punishable under Section 155 and Section 285 respectively of the Criminal Code.

Kpodoh, a former Special Adviser on Security Matters, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge and his counsel immediately applied for bail on grounds of sickness and personal recognition.

Seibokuru argued that the accused was hypertensive and that since he is a known politician and businessman who owned hotels and other property in the state, he appealed to the court to grant him bail.

The prosecution lawyer, Ayibatonye Jumbo, opposed the bail application saying that being a politician and influential businessman, the case could be jeopardised if Kpodoh was granted bail.

He also urged the court not to grant the accused bail on grounds of ill health as he insisted that the counsel for the accused person failed to tender medical reports to prove his case.

Jumbo stated: “The count one is misdemeanor, which is not a serious offence, but the second count is felony and a serious offence, which if he is convicted, he will be jailed for life. Based on this, we appeal to the court to reject the bail application.”

The defence counsel, however, described his client’s arraignment as politically motivated and that the allegation of rape was a trumped up charge stressing that government was aiming to shut up the accused for being critical of the administration.

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