A prominent traditional palace chief in Warri Kingdom, Johnson Asteruleghe, is to remain in prison custody till June 27 when his application for bail would be heard by Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.
Asteruleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, was on Tuesday charged with alleged assault, malicious damage, and other offences said to have been committed in Ologbo Dukedom, Ikpoba Okha local government area of Edo State.
The suspect pleaded not guilty to the seven-count charge brought against him in suit No. B/Co/ 126/22.
Prosecuting police officer, Okunbor Orobosa, told the court that the defendant committed the offences February, 2, 2022, at Ologbo in the Benin judicial Division.
According to Okunbor, “you did conspire amongst yourselves to carry on warlike undertaking malicious damage, punishable under section 517 of the Criminal code, cap. 48.vol.11 Laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976 as applicable in Edo state.”
Asteruleghe was also accused of conspiring to “commit warlike undertaking punishable under code cap 48, vol.11, Laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976 as applicable in Edo State.”
Counsel to the defendant, Eghedosa Imhandegbelo, in his oral application, urged the court to grant his client bail which was opposed by Okunbor who argued that the defendant was fond of formenting trouble whenever granted bail, citing instances in previous cases involving him.
He cited a previous murder case against the defendant in which he was granted bail before he went to commit this present offence.
Okunbor also urged the court not to entertain oral bail application as it had not been applicable in cases before now, and urged the defense counsel to put the application for bail in motion so that they can equally respond.
Following arguments by both parties the presiding judge, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, adjourned the case to June 27, 2022 for hearing of the bail application.