A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has adjourned till September 25, hearing of a fundamental rights suit filed by the traditional ruler of Rumueprikom community, Eze Anthony Owabie, and three others against the police for detaining them.The court will on the same date take the plea of the traditional ruler in a case of alleged illegal possession of firearms filed against him.
Eze Owabie was arrested and detained on August 13, this year, by Rivers State Police Command for allegedly shooting his son with a double-barrelled gun, at their residence, Wimpey Junction, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
When the fundamental rights action came up Monday before Justice U. N. Agumuo, counsel to the respondents, Mr. Donald Deewigwe, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), filed a counter-affidavit against the application filed by the monarch and three others. However, efforts by counsel to the applicants, Emenike Ebete, to secure the monarchs bail in the charge of alleged illegal possession of firearms failed.
Ebete had told the court that police deliberately refused to arraign his client, about a month after his arrest and detention. But, in her ruling, the trial judge said vacation time was not a time for arraignment, adding that there was no urgency to require the monarch’s arraignment.
She, however, adjourned the two matters till September 25.
Meanwhile, speaking to journalists shortly after the proceedings, counsel to the applicants, Mr. Ebete, frowned on the failure of the respondents to produce the traditional ruler in court.
“The police did not produce him in court. This man is in their custody and has been there since August 13. The matter was filed last Friday, September 5.
“They (police) deliberately kept him there, so that the man would continue to suffer. Now, they charged only him. What happened to the other three persons arrested with him?” he said.