A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has issued an order for the remand of 13 members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in Kuje prison. This comes in the wake of serious allegations of attempted murder targeting the national president of NUPENG, Williams Akporeha, along with two other prominent figures.
The 13 defendants faced their day in court and were remanded in prison by Justice Yusuf Halilu after being arraigned on a five-count criminal charge last Friday evening.
The charges stem from accusations by the Inspector General of Police, asserting that the defendants physically assaulted Akporeha and Wale Afolabi, NUPENG’s president and general secretary, as well as the newly elected national chairman of PTD, Augustine Egbon.
Among the accused are notable figures such as the former national chairman of PTD, Lucky Osesua, his deputy Dayyabu Yusuf Garga, Humble Obinna, Akinolu Olabisi, Godwin Nwaka, and Tiamiu Sikiru. Others include Abdulmimin Shaibu, John Amajuoyi, Zaira Aregbo, Patrick Erhivwor, Stephen Ogheneruemu, Gift Ukponku, and Sunday Ezeocha.
The case, marked FCT/HC/CR/042/2023, outlines that on November 1, 2023, the defendants allegedly laid siege to the PTD office located at No. 50 Moses Majekodunmi Crescent, Utako District. The prosecution contends that the accused committed offenses punishable under Section 114 of the Penal Code Act, 2004, by acting in a manner likely to cause the deaths of Akporeha and Egbon. Moreover, they are accused of voluntarily causing grievous bodily harm to their victims, an offense punishable under Section 229 of the Penal Code Act, 2004.
Despite the serious charges, the defendants pleaded not guilty during the court proceedings. The prosecution counsel, Frank Longe, then applied for a trial date, while the lead counsel to the defendants, Chris Oshomogie, SAN, orally requested bail, claiming that the offenses were bailable.
However, the court rejected the oral bail application, directing Oshomogie to file a formal application. The trial is set to commence on November 21, with Justice Yusuf ordering that the 13 defendants be remanded in Kuje prison in Abuja pending the determination of their bail application.