ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
A High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a former General Manager of Radio Bayelsa, Dr. John Idumange.
The whistleblower, Idumange, had raised the alarm that some Bayelsa State government officials allegedly diverted N3 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) agric loan meant for farmers in the state.
Justice Iniekenimi Uzakah issued the warrant on Monday following an oral application by the state prosecution counsel, Mr E.S. Obed, who noted that Idumange had been absent from court to defend charges against him.
The defence counsel, Ebikenuna Aluzu, had told the court that the defendant had an accident on his way to court.
But the judge insisted that the defendant must be produced in court and adjourned until July 26.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Bayelsa, Biriyai Sambo, SAN, had sued Idumange for misdemeanour and seditious publications against government officials, whom the whistleblower accused diverted the loan into private pockets.
Recall that a Magistrate Court had on March 11 in Yenagoa, ordered Idumange’s detention for 30 days pending police investigation.
Idumange was arrested on March 12 and charged the next day.
The case earlier assigned to Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro was later reassigned to Justice Uzakah.