By Peter Duru – Makurdi
The Benue state House of Assembly member representing Katsina-East State Constituency, Mr. Jonathan Agbidye of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has been remanded in prison by a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court for alleged criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, and abduction.
The lawmaker was arraigned and remanded Friday alongside one Denen Zuamo of Katsina-Ala town for the alleged offenses.
At the hearing, the Police Prosecuting Counsel, Mr. Fidelis Ogbobe told the court that on May 22, 2018, a Toyota Hilux van with registration number SWA-215-FM and other valuables belonging to Apin Public Health Initiatives was snatched at gunpoint along with Katsina/Ala – Tordonga road in Katsina/Ala Local Government Area of Benue State to an unknown destination.
According to him, “during Police investigation, Mr. Agbidye and Zuamo of Katsina/Ala township were arrested with the said vehicle which had been re-registered with the number MKD-992-AD in Makurdi.”
Ogbobe said police investigation further reveals that Messr. Agbidye, Zuamo, and others now at large who allegedly belong to a gang of armed robbers and terrorists headed by one wanted kingpin, Terwase Akwaza alias ‘Ghana’ conspired and snatched, robbed and also abducted the staff of Apin Public Health Initiatives.
He said, “the accused persons committed the offense contrary to section 1(2) A and B and section 6(b) of the Robbery and Fire Arms(Special Provisions) Act, 2004, and Hostage, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Law of Benue State, 2017.”
Though no plea was taken for want of jurisdiction, the Prosecuting Counsel, told the court that investigation into the matter was ongoing and applied for another date to enable the police to complete their investigation.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Terhemen Aorabee did not oppose the application but informed the court that he would formally apply for the bail of his clients on another date.
The trial Chief Magistrate adjourned the case to October 12, 2020, for further mention.
Meanwhile, at the time of this report, the accused persons were being conveyed to the Federal Correctional Facility in Makurdi pending the application for their bail.