May 18, 2024

Ex-Edo NBA Publicity Secretary Invades NUJ Secretariat Over Report Of Alleged Stealing of Stabiliser

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…assaults journalists. NUJ Leadership

By Simeon OSAJIE

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A former Publicity Secretary of the Benin Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Douglas Ogbankwa late Thursday at the Edo State Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) assaulted journalists including the State Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Festus Alenkhe and others over an online report of alleged case of stealing preferred against him by the state.

Ogbankwa was expected to be arraigned today at the Criminal Court in Benin City over alleged attack on the matrimonial home of one Sandra Palmer-Kelvin for alleged issues with Ogbankwa’s client based in Denmark who is Sandra’s husband.

When his case was mentioned in the court, several lawyers including the Benin Branch chairman of the NBA, Nosa Edo-Osagie, Emmanuel Usoh and others pleaded with the judge to allow them intervene in the issue which they assured would be settled and report back in the next date where he was expected to take his plea.

He was at the NUJ premises with plain cloth policemen to arrest a blogger, Friday Aghedo who had posted the day’s activities in the court in his page.

Other journalists who witnessed what was happening informed the NUJ chairman who immediately met with the policemen and informed them that they should have announced their presence before the leadership of the union but however assured that the Aghedo would honour their invitation but in the process, Ogbankwa turned to the NUJ chairman where he roared “Alenkhe, even you, I will pick you up” and then threatened to deal with other journalists present including the Chief of Staff to Alenkhe, Simeon Osajie, the State Correspondent of Vanguard Newspaper, Ozioruva Aliu, Secretary of the Council, Andy Egbon, Treasurer of the Council, Solomon Obonzuya and several others.

In the charge sheet marked B/10/600/2024 between The State and Douglas Ogbankwa and others now at large, they were accused of allegedly stealing a stabilizer belonging to Sandra Palmer-Kelvin.

He is facing charges including felony punishable under Section 412 of the Criminal Law of Edo State, 2022.

The charge also reads that “Ogbankwa and others now at large, sometimes in the month of January, 2023 at 2nd Ugbor road, GRA Benin within the Benin Judicial Division did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: forcibly entry” which it said is punishable under Section 56 (1) of the criminal law of Edo State, 2022.

“Douglas Ogbankwa and others now at large sometimes in the month of January, 2023 at the 2nd Ugbor Road, GRA, Benin City, Edo State within the Benin Judicial Division, did forcefully enter the residential house of one Sandra Palmer-Kelvin damage door keys belonging to one Sandra palmer-Kelvin.

“Douglas Ogbankwa and others now at large, sometimes in the month of January, 2023 at 2nd Ugbor Road, GRA, Benin City, Edo State within the Benin Judicial Division, did steal one stabilizer belonging to one Sandra Palmer Kelvin”.

Justice Ikponmwonba however adjourned the case for a report of settlement plea was not taken.

The prosecuting Counsel, Mr. Orobosa Okunbor however did not oppose the defendant counsel application.

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