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Two remanded for disappearance of Anambra LP gov candidate

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An Anambra High Court has ordered the remand of two individuals suspected of involvement in the disappearance 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 related to Agbasimelo’s kidnapping during a campaign tour at Lilu in Ihiala local government area. Agbasimelo has been missing since then.

The case was heard in court with both the prosecuting state counsel, Charity Madukaife, an Assistant Director of Prosecution, and Chima Gift, counsel to the first defendant, Jude Chukwudi Odimegwu, present. 

However, the counsel to Nwokolo Maxwell was absent, leading to the adjournment of the case to October 27, 2023 by Justice C N Mbonu-Nwenyi.

Justice Mbonu-Nwenyi warned against further undue delay in the prosecution of the case and noted that so far, it is the defense and not the court that has 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. Consequently, they were remanded in prison custody without taking their plea.

According to the charge, on September 18, 2021 at Lilu in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, the accused persons attacked and caused the disappearance of Obiorah Agbasimalo. The prosecution stated that these offences were contrary to Sections 495 (1) and 315 (2) (a) (b) (c) of the Criminal Code.

While remanding 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.

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