A High Court in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, has issued a bench warrant authorizing the arrest of a former General Manager of the state owned radio station, Radio Bayelsa, Dr. John Idumange.
It will be recalled that Idumange raised an alarm of an alledged diversion of a N3 billion agric loan by some officials of the state government which was obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to him, the loan was meant for farmers in the state but were diverted into private pockets which made him file a complaint with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against them.
The former General Manager claimed he had so far recorded 17 cases of diversion of the loan and mentioned the names of some top government officials supposedly connected to the fraud.
As a result, he was arrested by the Police on March 10, 2021 based on a petition by the affected officers through the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Biriyai Dambo (SAN) and later charged to court for misdemeanor and seditious publications against them.
A Magistrate Court sitting in Yenagoa, ordered him to be put in detention for thirty days, but the High Court Division in Sagbama granted him bail.
On Monday, Justice Iniekenimi Uzaka issued the bench warrant following an oral application by state Prosecuting Counsel, E. S. Obed, who stated that Idumange had been absent from court to defend charges against him.
The Defence Counsel, Ebikebuna Aluzu had told the court that the defendant had an accident on his way to court but the Judge insisted that the defendant must be produced in court and adjourned the case until July 26th 2021.
Idumange, a fiery critic of the present administration was also a Special Adviser on Research and Documentation to former governor, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson.
The case earlier assigned to Justice E. Umukoro was later re-assigned to Justice Uzaka.