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Rivers judiciary, LG chair clash over inmate release

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The Rivers State Judiciary and the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, Dr Chidi Lloyd, are on a collision course over the alleged release of a criminal suspect from the Port Harcourt Maximum Corrections Centre.

The suspect is said to be one of those terrorising the Emohua axis of the East-West Road in Rivers State.

Dr Llyod had claimed that the suspect, Nwoburuoke Wosu, was one of the inmates freed during a jail delivery some months ago by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Simeon Chibuzor-Amadi.

He, however, said the suspect was abusing the goodwill of the State Chief Judge, who in the exercise of his functions granted him pardon.

Lloyd spoke against the backdrop of three people recently kidnapped along the Emuoha axis of the East-West by miscreants, which he described as ‘another resurgence of criminality’.

He stated, “We are seeing another resurgence of criminality again. This time led by Nwoburuoke Wosu, also known as Abioto from the same Elibrada.

“Unfortunately, Nwoburuoke Wosu was among those who were recently released by the Chief Judge of Rivers State in his well-thought-out jail delivery. Rather than turn a good new leaf and join the society, Nwoburuoke has now come back more dastardly and is unleashing mayhem on the public.”

But the State Judiciary said the council chairman’s claim is false, pointing out that the name of the suspect in question was neither among the inmates recently granted pardon by Justice Chibuzor-Amadi nor in the list of those he had freed since he assumed office.

Recall that Lloyd had declared Nwoburuoke Wosu wanted over his criminal activities within Emohua and some parts of the East-West Road, saying he was one of those freed from the Port Harcourt Corrections by the Chief Judge during a jail delivery in June this year.

But in a swift reaction, the Chief Registrar of the State High Court, David Ihua-Maduenh, took a swipe at Dr Lloyd for linking the CJ to the release of a notorious cultist from the correctional centre who is said to be making life uncomfortable for residents of Emuoha and nearby.

Ihua-Maduenh, while speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, said the judiciary does not have any problem with the LG chairman warranting such remarks on the State Chief Judge.

He said neither the Judiciary nor the CJ are against the council boss in his fight against insecurity in Emuoha, but expressed worry at the allegations made against the State CJ.

He said that the claim that the CJ had earlier released the wanted criminal from custody was totally false, adding that Lloyd could be held for contempt of court.

The Chief Registrar stated, “There was no gaol delivery exercise by My Lordship, Hon. Chief Judge of Rivers State, in June 2023.

“I had gone through the list of the persons so far released by the Hon. Chief Judge during the various gaol delivery exercises since he assumed office in May 2021 till date and the person named Nwoburuoke Wosu (aka Abioto) is not on the list.

“I have also gone through the list of inmates so far released by the Magistrates during their sittings at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre from 2021–2023. The person named Nwoburuoke Wosu (aka Abioto) is not one of the persons released.

“It is therefore very worrisome that Hon. Chidi Lloyd keeps bringing up the name of the Hon. Chief Judge of Rivers State into the so-called release of Nwoburuoke Wosu (aka Abioto) from the Correctional Centre.”

Continuing, he said, “The persistent insinuation and name-dropping by Hon. Chidi Lloyd is not only disrespectful of the person and office of the Hon. Chief Judge of Rivers State, but Hon. Chidi Lloyd could be cited for contempt.

“I want to restate that the response of Hon. Chidi Lloyd is totally false, misleading and fabricated to misguide the general public, and should be disregarded by the public.”

Ihua-Maduenhi, however, called on Dr Lloyd to desist forthwith from mentioning and calling the name of the State Chief Judge over the issues concerning insecurity in the Emohua Local Government Area.

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