Federal High Court, Jabi, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), yesterday adjourned the arraignment of the alleged factional President of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Lawson Obasi, till November 9.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, counsel to the Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo-led IPMAN, Barrister Nnamna Oru, said the adjournment was due to the absence of the presiding judge who is engaged at the election tribunal in Gombe State.

The counsel to the complainant recalled that “on the 6th of July, the suspect was to be arraigned here but the court couldn’t sit on the account of the absence of the presiding judge, who is engaged in the tribunals in Gombe State. So, because of the state and urgency of the matters at the tribunal, he is still sitting and the court couldn’t sit today.

“So the matter was adjourned to the 9th of November, by which period he would have been through with his tribunal engagement and appropriate steps taken to prosecute the matter.

“I am watching view for the nominal complainant of this matter. The complainant is the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), led by the National President, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo.”

The court had fixed yesterday for the arraignment of Obasi and three others who were dragged before it over criminal allegations.

Others charged alongside Obasi are Ukadike Chinedu, Augustine Erhabor and Andrew Ashiga.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mohammed Diri, who was present in court on September 6, had filed the six-count charge before the FCT High Court.

Count one of the 6-count charge filed by Diri on behalf of the Federal Government, among others, reads: “That you, Chief Lawson Obasi, Ukadike Chinedu (aka Asha), Augustine Erhabor and Andrew Ashiga (now at large) on or about the 14th day of April 2014, within the judicial division of the High Court of FCT, conspired to commit an offence, in that while you armed yourselves with dangerous weapons such as cutlasses, wood, iron rod and knives, you violently forced yourselves into the premises of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) headquarters located at No. 41, Gnassigbe Eyadema Street, Asokoro, Abuja and attacked the headquarters by breaking the doors, windows, lockers and cardboards of the office and inflicting various degrees of injuries on the occupants and robbed them of large sums of money and valuable properties valued at millions of naira.”

The FG stated that in pursuance of their conspiracy, the accused persons “thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act 2004.

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