A Member representing Bonny/Degema Federal Constituency, Hon. Farah Dagogo, has been remanded in police custody by a Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Dagogo, who is a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, was arrested on Thursday, while attending the gubernatorial screening of his party ahead of its primaries at the South-south zonal office of the party in Port Harcourt.
It would be recalled that Governor Nyesom Wike, had on Wednesday declared the lawmaker wanted on allegation of cultism.
When the PDP Governorship aspirant Dagogo arrived at court for arraignment yesterday, his team of lawyers opposed the application for the charge to be read by the Prosecution Counsel, Chidi Eke.
The lead counsel for the defense, N. Daye, argued that since count two in the charge against his client is one that Magistrate Court lacks jurisdiction to hear, that the court should obey the session of the state Magistrate law.
However, the trial Chief Magistrate Amadi Nna after observing the second count charge of conspiracy to felony and cultism against the defendant, cited a new rule which did not empower Magistrate Court to hear a case of cultism.
Considering the available information on the charge, Nna ordered that Dagogo be remanded at the police custody and adjourned till May 9, 2022 formal arraignment and possible consideration of bail.
Meanwhile, a former Member of the Federal House of Representatives, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for the immediate and unconditional release of the Member representing Bonny/Degema Federal Constituency, Dagogo, from detention.
Peterside, who said Dagogo’s arrest has no locus standi in any known Nigerian Law or Statue, including the Miscellaneous Offences Act, described Wike as “a neo-fascist and dictator desperate to gag free speech and democratic rights of Rivers citizens.”
He challenged the governor to justify his reasons for the arrest of the lawmaker other than his quest to remain “a political alpha and omega who would not brood over any fair contest.”
While insisting that the police also erred in executing the arrest without a known court warrant of arrest, Peterside vowed that Rivers State would not allow Wike to prosper in his quest to turn the state into an Italy of Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler’s Germany where fascism held sway until the world rallied democracy against them.
“Rivers State cannot become an Italy of Benito Mussolini, or Adolf Hitler’s Germany where fascism and dictatorship contracted an evil marriage of convenience that bestride and muzzled free speech and fundamental rights of citizens.
“What Wike is working at is to annex every independent mind and cow every Rivers citizen into sheepish acquiescence. But what he plays ignorant of is that from the times of Harold Dappa-Biriye, Melford Okilo, Obi Wali, TImothy Birabi, all nationalists and democrats, Rivers had never suffered fools to muzzle them.
“So, we shall keep to that historic attitude and would never surrender to Wike and his goons.”
Peterside, who is the immediate past Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), queried Wike on how he obtained evidence linking the lawmaker to an alleged disruption of proceedings at the Rivers State Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Wike had lied at several times such that these days his claims must be subjected to forensic investigation before believed. So, Rivers people need to know how he proved Dagogo’s link to whatever happened at their party secretariat,” he added.