There was mild drama at a Magistrate court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State when a trader arraigned for alleged breach of peace and malicious damage was whisked away by the Police.
The 45-year-old accused trader, Esther Maduka, who sells at the popular Swali market, was arrested by Policemen attached to the Azikoro divisional Police Command on a two-count charge of alleged breach of peace, unlawful and malicious damage brought against her by one Osigwe Jude.
In the charge sheet, numbered YMC/13c/2024 and marked Commissioner of Police versus Esther Maduka, ” Count 1 read, ”On the 28th of December, 2023 at shop No. D8 Swali market, Yenagoa in the Yenagoa Magisterial district, being a public place, did conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace by telling one Osigwe Jude ‘M’ that in no distance time, she will pursue him out of Swali market, thereby committed an offence punishable under section 186 of the criminal code law Cap C14, laws of Bayelsa State, 2006.”
“Count 2: That you, Esther Maduka, ‘F’ on the 28th day of December, 2023 at shop No. D8 Swali Market, Yenagoa in Yenagoa Magisterial district, did unlawfully and maliciously damage one Almaco Swing door valued at N670,000, being the property of one Osigwe Jude ‘M’ and thereby committed an offence under section 378 of the criminal code law of Bayelsa State, 2006.”
It was gathered that while the accused was brought to the magistrate court and her charge sheet prepared, policemen on the order of Officer Commanding the Monitoring Unit of AIG Zone 16, Beson Adetuyi, whisked her away to the shock of court workers on duty.
Reports said on arrival of the presiding magistrate, he was briefed by the Police Counsel on the incident, in anger he ordered that the accused be brought back to court to face her charges.
Sources close to the suit informed newsmen that the Officer Commanding the Monitoring Unit of AIG Zone 16, Beson Adetuyi, was also alleged to have threatened to deal with a female lawyer, Judith Otobo Esq and the complainant, Osigwe Jude for filing the case against his instruction that the case be withdrawn from the Azikoro division and brought to the AIG’s office.
The Complainant, Osigwe Jude, who is also the Chairman of the Igbo Traders at the Swali Market, told newsmen that since the incident, there have been police threats on him, so he has abandoned his residence.
“I am afraid for my life and that of my brothers. Since the onslaught against me by this woman, I have been detained three times unlawfully by the police.”
He said the dispute between him and the woman started with her violation of the provision laid down by the association over the acquisition of shops in the market.
“She even accused me of beating up a female policewoman. But a witness who recorded the altercation on video with a mobile phone exonerated me.”
When contacted on the development, the spokesperson for Zone 16, AIG command, SP Ikwo Kevin, said he has not been briefed on the development and will look into the matter.