Friday, March 12, 2021 10:45 pm
By Nathan Nwakamma
The Police Command in Bayelsa on Friday said Mr John Idumange, former General Manager of Radio Bayelsa who alleged that government officials diverted N3 billion Agric loan has been charged to court.
Mr Mike Okoli, Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that Idumange was charged to court on Thursday and no longer under Police detention.
On the whereabouts of Idumange who had raised the alarm that the first tranche of the N3 billion loan obtained from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) amounting to N1.5 billion was diverted by Bayelsa government was being detained by the court.
“We have charged the man to court and it is no longer the Police that is detaining him, but the courts so asking if he is in my custody means that the Police is detaining him, we took him to court and the court decided he should be remanded.
“Where he is remanded is the decision of the court, we are no longer detaining him, he is now before the court and where he is to be kept is at the discretion of the court” Okoli said.
NAN checks at the Police headquarters indicated that Idumange who was also an aide on Research and Documentation to former Governor Seriake Dickson, was being interogated by Police detectives investigating the alleged sedition charge.
Idumange was arrested following a complaint by the Bayelsa government to the State Criminal Investigation Division (CID) on Wednesday and taken to court on Thursday evening.
Court documents sighted by NAN on Friday indicated that Chief Magistrate of Yenagoa Magisterial District 2, Mr. Mirinn-John Tari on Thursday evening remanded Idumange in custody for the next 30 days for sedition.
According to Tari, the detention order is to enable the Police to conclude investigations into allegations of seditious publications and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.
Idumange reportedly ran into troubled waters on Wednesday over allegations of embarrassing the state government with seditious posts on the social media which compelled the government to make a formal complaint that prompted his arrest.
Idumange had earlier told NAN that he had submitted a petition detailing how the fund was diverted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commision for investigation.
Gov Douye Diri of Bayelsa had on Monday dismissed Idumange’s allegations as a ploy to blackmail and armtwist his administration to give appointments.
“Let me say it clearly before the full glare of the press that we are open to criticism if they are constructive, but this one is entirely not based on facts, the funds are being managed by CBN and warehoused at Access bank.
“The N3 billion is not in the treasury of Bayelsa government to be disbursed and the CBN has come here to say that no funds are missing.
“I want to tell Chief Idumange that I am not the type of person to be blackmailed into giving out appointments,”Diri said. (NAN)