21st January, 2016
A Benin City High Court Thursday granted bail to the member representing Etsako Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Philip Shaibu, who was re-arraigned in the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on a-six count charge bordering on alleged forgery of tax document in 2006.
The re-arraignment of the lawmaker paralysed government activities in the state as top political office holders stormed the court in solidarity with the former Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly.
P.M.NEWS reports that Justice Esohe Ikponmwen of Benin High Court 4 had last Thursday issued a warrant of arrest on the federal lawmaker for failure to appear in court.
When the accused appeared in court on Thursday, the court chamber was packed full by government officials who temporarily abandoned their offices to attend the court sitting.
At the head of the delegation was the State Deputy Governor, Pius Odubu who led other top exco members to the court in solidarity with the embattled federal lawmaker.
Other officials were the state Commissioner for Works, Osarodion Ogie; Isimemen Iriogbe, Commissioner for Transport; Washington Osifo, Commissioner for Energy and Water Resources; Jemitola Aanena, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development; Macdonald Obasuki, Commissioner for Arts and Culture.
Also present was a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Thomas Okosun and members of the House, namely, Bamidele Oloruntuba and Shaibu Imodagbe.
Following the setting aside of the warrant of arrest order, the six-count charge was formally read to the accused person. He however pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Consequent upon an oral application for bail for the accused by his counsel, Ken Mozia, which went unopposed by Godson Igbadumhe , counsel to ICPC, Justice Ikponmwen granted the accused bail in the sum of N3 million and a surety who must be resident in Benin City and gainfully employed.
She however adjoined the case to February 15 and 16 for further hearing.
Justice Esther Edigin of Benin High Court 4 had on June 30, 2014, granted bail to Hon. Shaibu in the sum of N3 million.