A High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, on Monday, adjourned the trial of former General Manager of Radio Bayelsa, Mr. John Idumange, who raised an alarm over alleged diversion of N3 billion Agric loan by some government officials to July 29.
NAIJA LIVE TV earlier reported that the court had on July 19 issued a bench warrant authorising the arrest of a Idumange, whose Counsel Ebikebuna Aluzu had informed the court that the defendant was involved in a traffic crash which resulted to Idumange’s admission in hospital.
Justice Iniekenimi Uzakah, who adjourned the matter until Thursday July 29 told the prosecuting team led by Mrs Iyobososa Apulu, Director of Public Prosecution in Bayelsa that the Defense Counsel had furnished the courts evidence that Idumange was injured and hospitalised.
Although Apulu said that the hospital records were yet to be served on prosecution, the trial judge urged both counsels to appear before him on July 29 to examine the medical records.
Some officials of the Bayelsa government had reported to the Police that Idumange had made seditious publications that maligned their persons in his claims.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in Bayelsa, Biriyai Sambo, SAN, sued Idumange for misdemeanor and seditious publications against government officials, who Idumange accused of diverting the loan.
A Magistrates’ Court had on March 11 in Yenagoa, ordered Idumange’s detention for 30 days pending Police investigation.
Idumange, who alleged that officials of the Bayelsa government diverted a N3 billion Agric loan, was arrested on March 10 and charged to court the next day.
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 Gov. Seriake Dickson.
The case earlier assigned to Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro was reassigned to Justice Uzakah.
Meanwhile, Idumange, has also petitioned the state’s commissioner for Justice before the Disciplinary Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), accusing him of trying to use his office to influence the outcome of his case with the state government over alleged misappropriation of a N3bn agric loan.
Mr. Idumange made the revelation in a petition he signed and issued to NAIJA LIVE TV on Monday in Yenagoa, the state’s capital.
The G.M alleged that the State’s Attorney General, Biriyani Dambo SAN, wrote a letter to the Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, instructing her to move the case out of a court presided over by Justice E.J Omukoro and send it a court presided over by his friend, Justice E. Uzakah.
Explaining further, Idumange in the petition claimed that the aim of moving the case is ensure that the investigation into the controversial N3bn agric loan, knowing fully well that Justice Uzakah will do the bidding of his friend to illegally rule an unlawful remand order to ensure he remains in prison.
Parts of the petition read “The Bayelsa State Government received an Agricultural loan of Three Billion Naira (N3 billion) from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The first tranche of the loan was received at about March-April 2020. Government never made a statement on it because the tranche of N1.5 billion was supposedly misappropriated.
“The second tranche of N1.5billion was paid in February-March 2021. Realizing the body language of the government in concealing and misappropriating the loan for farmers, I blew the whistle that the loan should be given to Bayelsa Farmers. The loan was specifically meant for farmers.
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