Court remands former Imo deputy governor for alleged treason

A Magistrates’ court sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Thursday remanded a former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Gerald Irona at the Owerri Correctional Centre.

Irona was arraigned by the Imo State Police Command on three counts bordering on treason, illegal possession of state government property and for making utterances capable of causing unrest and chaos in the state.

The Presiding Magistrate, Chike Ezerioha after taking briefs and hearing the prosecution and defence counsel ordered that Irona be remanded in prison pending when the issue of bail is heard and determined by the state high court in Owerri.

Earlier, the defense counsel had argued that the former deputy governor should be granted bail based on self recognition, however, the lead prosecutor, said the magistrate lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter since one of the charges against Irona bordered on felony.

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However, the Magistrate, In her ruling, agreed with the prosecution counsel that she lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter or grant the accused bail, explaining that it is only the high court that can entertain such matter and rule on bail application.

She added that the prosecution counsel should make all documents available to the defence counsel to enable them take next legal line of action. She also ordered that the case file be transferred to the state Department of Public Prosecutions.

While speaking to newsmen after the ruling, one of the defence counsel and legal adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kissinger Ikeokwu, expressed optimism that the ex-deputy governor would be granted bail at the high court, adding that Irona’s ordeal was politically contrived.

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