Eberendu Chiimechefulem, an aide of ex-Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and 13 others have been granted a bail of ₦5m each by a Magistrate court in Imo.
The magistrate, B.U Adikaibe, who ruled on the bail application made for the release of the defendants also insisted that a traditional ruler in the state or a member of his cabinet must stand in as a surety.
Justice Adikaibe said the decision to grant the bail application by the counsel to the defendant, Eddy Onyema is owing to the fact that the charges against the defendants are not capital criminal offenses and are all bailable offenses even though the prosecuting counsel had earlier objected to the bail.
They were arraigned on a six-count charge bordering conspiracy, breach of the public peace, possession of firearms, unlawful destruction of the official seal of the Imo State Government, a defamatory action on the social media against the governor of the state with the intent to injure the reputation of the state government and the person of the state governor, and disturbance to a lawful order.
Some of the defendants are Eberendu Chimechefulem, Ebere Nwoke, Basil MBA, Ebuka Samuel, Darlington Ibekewe, Obasi Goodluck, Nwaiwu Ndubuisi, Ekpendu Peace, Steve Anisnuobi, and Ebere Nwokeobi.
While Eddy Onyema was the leading counsel for the defendants, E.S Ibechem was the prosecutor.
Trouble began last Friday when the Imo State government sealed the Royal spring palm hotel linked to Okorocha’s wife, Nkechi.
In response, Okorocha, who now represents Imo West at the Senate, led his entourage to the property which is situated along Akachi road, Owerri, and unsealed it on Sunday.
Government officials mobilised to the property, leading to a free-for-all as many were reportedly injured while some cars were damaged.
Imo State Commissioner of Police, Nasiru Mohammed, subsequently invited the former governor for questioning following his alleged involvement in the forceful entry into the property.
In a statement on Sunday, Okorocha’s spokesman, Sam Onwuemeodo, accused Chinasa Nwaneri, Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, of leading more than 1,000 armed thugs to attack the senator’s convoy.