Two men have been ordered to remain in prison custody by an Anambra High Court for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of the Labour Party’s governorship candidate in the 2021 Anambra State election, Chief Obiora Agbasimelo.
The suspects, Jude Chukwudi Odimegwu and Nwokolo Chukwudi Maxwell, are facing criminal charges of conspiracy and kidnapping, after they reportedly attacked and abducted Agbasimelo during a campaign tour at Lilu in Ihiala local government area. Agbasimelo has been missing since then.
The case was heard on Tuesday by Justice C N Mbonu-Nwenyi, who adjourned the matter to October 27, 2023 due to the absence of the counsel to the second defendant. The judge warned against further undue delay in the prosecution of the case and noted that it was the defense and not the court that had been delaying the case.
The Department of State Services had previously arraigned the accused persons before a Magistrate court sitting at Awka on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping. The court did not take their plea and remanded them in prison custody. The court also ordered the police to transfer the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice.
The DPP subsequently came up with the same two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping. It was alleged that while armed with guns and other offensive weapons, the accused persons kidnapped Obiorah Agbasimalo against his will and demanded a total ransom of N7 million from his family for his release.