Justice Iniekenimi Uzakah of the Yenagoa High Court on Friday, September 10 adjourned to September 15, 2021 the trial of a former General Manager of the Bayelsa State Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Bayelsa), Dr. John Idumange.
This followed the change in defence counsel to Idumange, who raised an alarm over alleged diversion of N3 billion agriculture loan by officials of the state government.
When the case was called, a new counsel, Ms Ebiye Enegi, who announced her appearance for Idumange, prayed the court to grant a short adjournment to enable her study the case file.
She also apologised for the absence of Idumange, a fiery critic of the state government, saying he was currently on admission in an undisclosed hospital.
The prosecution led by Mrs Iyobosa Apulu, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Bayelsa, did not object to the adjournment but expressed worry over the incessant excuses by the defendant and his legal team.
She said: “We do not have any objection to this request for adjournment based on a new lawyer taking over, however, it should be noted that this is one adjournment, too many in this case.
“The reasons have ranged from accident to ill health without any concrete evidence before the court, there is no detail of how the accident happened or the nature of the sickness.
”We do hope that the new defence counsel will do her utmost best and bring the defendant to court to take his plea”.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mr. Biriyai Dambo, (SAN) had filed a suit against Idumange for misdemeanour and seditious publications against government officials, concerning the controversial agric loan.
A Magistrate Court in Yenagoa had on March 11, ordered Idumange’s detention for 30 days, pending police investigation after he was arrested the previous day.
Some officials of the state government had reported to the police that Idumange had made seditious publications that maligned their persons in his claims.
However, the State High Court, Sagbama Division, granted bail to Idumange, who was also an aide on Research and Documentation and later Social Media to former Bayelsa Governor, Senator Seriake Dickson.
Our correspondent reports that the case, earlier assigned to Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro, was later reassigned to Justice Uzakah.