Boy, 13, jailed for pelting Obasanjo's convoy with 'pure water'
By Nicholas Ibekwe
April 14, 2011 04:58PM
A 13-year-old boy, Precious Efurueze, who is accused of allegedly attempting to kill former president Olusegun Obasanjo and the governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, in Owerri on 31, March, by stoning their campaign convoy with sachets of pure water; was on Wednesday denied bail by a chief magistrate court in Owerri.
Master Efurueze is among 18 people charged with attempted murder for participation in the attack on Messrs. Obasanjo and Ohakim. Notable among the accused is Prince Madumere, the chief of staff to the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Rochas Okorocha.
At the resumed hearing of the suit yesterday the presiding magistrate, V.C Isiguzo, while delivering ruling on the application for bail for the accused, explained that her court has no jurisdiction on two of the charges because they are punishable by life imprisonment. Mrs. Isiguzo, however, turned down the accused's request to be granted bail until the conclusion of the substantive suit.
The chief magistrate explained that her reason for denying the accused bail is that they had been charged with felony which carries a punishment of life imprisonment if found guilty. She said the offence is a serious one and, therefore, should not be treated lightly.
Speaking to newsmen at the end of the court session, Greg Okemiri, the counsel representing the 12th to the 16th accused persons, while expressing his displeasure with the ruling of the magistrate, hinted that the reason the application was denied may be political. He was also angered by the continued detention of Master Efurueze who, he explained, under the law of the country, by virtue of being a minor, is considered incapable of committing a crime.
"The law describes him as not capable of committing crime yet," he said. "All these things are in our law. Sometimes I feel very sad that we do not want to do things right. You see someone who the law describes as not capable of committing a crime yet, and you remand him in an adult prison." Mr. Okemiri, however, stated that he has taken steps to see that the boy is released soon. The case was adjourned to May 30, for further hearing.