By Anayo Okoli
Umuahiaâ€”TWO stalwarts of the ruling Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA,Â in Abia State who were arrested over five months ago and arraigned before an Abia State MagistrateÂ Court sitting in Umuahia for allegedly sponsoring kidnapping were yesterday granted bail by Justice T.U. Uzokwe.
The suspects, Mr. Eze Okwuleghe and Mr. Eme Ndubisi were arrested last year in what the police and prominent politicians in the state saw as a feat in the fight against kidnapping, which at that time was threatening the very foundation of the state.
However,Â lawyers to the suspects saw their arrest as politically motivated.
The suspects would have beenÂ paraded by the government last year but the exercise was abruptly called-off after journalists were assembled for the event. The suspects were detained by the police who later charged them before a Magistrate court. Specifically, the suspects were accused of sponsoring one notorious criminal, Ching Chong, from Umuahia, who was killed last year by the police.
But the Magistrate court referred the matter to the state high court on the ground that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter and ordered the police to transfer the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, to prepare the charge against the suspects to enable the high court commence the trial. Unfortunately, it was at this stage that the judicial workers in the state embarked on a prolong strike action.