Fifteen suspects were yesterday arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abuja for invading the residence of a Supreme Court Judge, Justice Mary Odili.
The suspects were arraigned before Justice Nkeonye Maha on an amended 18-count charge sheet marked FHC/ABJ/CR/436/2021, and bordering on forgery, criminal trespass, intimidation and extortion, among others, contrary to the sections of the law.
It was further alleged that the suspects and others at large, had threatened Justice Odili and members of her household with injury to her person and reputation with intent to execute an illegal search warrant. It should be noted that although 22 defendants are on the charge sheet, seven of them are still at large.
The accused persons include Michael Diete-Spiff; Alex Onyekuru; Igwe Ernest; Bayero Lawal, also known as EFCC Director; Aliyu Umar Ibrahim; Hajiya Maimuma Maishanu; Shehu Jibo; Dr Ayodele Akindipe, also known as Herbalist; Bashir Musa; Yusuf Adamu, also known as Godson to Chief Peter Odili; ASP Mohammed Yahaya; Stanley Nkwazema; Abdullahi Adamu and Usman Abdullahi.
While those at large include Lance Corporal Mike; Ike Ezekwe; Mohammed M; Godwin Lucas; Sani Bala; Solomon Bagudu and Austin Michael.
Counsel to the Prosecution, Mathew Omosun from the Nigeria Police headquarters, told the court that the earlier charges dated November 21, 2021 have been amended to 18 counts dated December 13th and filed on December 14, 2021, and therefore sought to withdraw those initial charges.
He also prayed the court for the amended counts to be read to the 15 defendants so that they could take their plea. When the counts were read to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
The prosecution lawyer further urged the court to make an order remanding the defendants in a correctional centre pending the hearing and determination of the matter in view of their “not guilty” plea.
However, the lawyers to the defendants informed the court that applications for bail had been filed in respect of their clients. The prosecution lawyer did not oppose the motions.