Odahiekwu Ogunde, Yenagoa
Suspected hoodlums on Thursday stopped the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, from sitting.
The invasion of the court happened during the hearing of the pre-election suit between the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Abel Ebifemowei and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Cleopas Moses, ahead of Saturday’s National Assembly bye-elections in the state.
The invasion, which occurred about 2:pm when the presiding judge, Justice Jane Inyang, was not on seat, caused pandemonium.
Many lawyers, who were in court for the proceedings got injured in the stampede that followed the attack.
It was learnt that the suit, which was stood down by Justice Inyang to allow parties to regularise their processes, were, however, suspended when suspected hoodlums armed with dangerous weapons attacked the court.
One of the victims and former State Legal Adviser of the PDP, Mr Richard Perekeme, who confirmed the development, said the lawyers were shocked at the attack.
Perekeme said: “The hoodlums were about 20 and armed with dangerous weapons. They seized legal wigs from lawyers. They collected their mobile phones and chased everyone out of court.”
He, however, could not confirm if they were political thugs.
“We thank God the judge was not on seat. There was poor security around the premises,” he stated.
When our correspondent arrived at the court, there were two police patrol vans stationed in front of the court premises at Onopa area of the state capital.
Meanwhile, the South-South geo-political zone representative of the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief David Lyon, has called on the electorate in the Bayelsa West and Central senatorial districts to vote en masse for the candidates of the party during the bye-election.
Lyon called on the state party leadership and supporters to rally round the two candidates in the state senatorial elections on Saturday.
He assured them that the party at the national was counting on the massive support the party enjoyed in the governorship election on November 16, 2019.
Lyon expressed his deep appreciation to the members of the party and his teaming supporters in Bayelsa for their incredible courage, service and genuine concern during the elections last year.
Lyon specifically acknowledged the efforts of the women, youths, non- Bayelsans, saying that the bonds and relationships shown would continue to open yet other opportunities for future endeavours together.
He explained that the experience had strengthened the collective resolve of his supporters and APC family in Bayelsa State to stand united for future political battles, emphasising that it had also served as a test of faith for the success of future elections.
He called for harmony and understanding among party leadership and members, saying that politics is about the numbers and their collective efforts is what the party needs to achieve victory at the polls.