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APC crisis: Thugs invade Bayelsa court, attack judge, injure 3

Hoodlums numbering over 30, on Thursday, disrupted proceedings in the hearing of a suit on the disputed ward, local government and state congresses of the…

Hoodlums numbering over 30, on Thursday, disrupted proceedings in the hearing of a suit on the disputed ward, local government and state congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Bayelsa State high court.

A court official, the claimant, Alex Blackson, and his brother, Osom, were injured during the stampede in the court room.

The presiding judge, Justice Nayai Aganaba, was pelted with plastic bottles before he was rescued by his police orderly.

Most of the lawyers were chased out, while those who came with the claimant were brutalised.

The hoodlums were said to have been provoked by the alleged insistence of the judge to hear the suit seeking an order to set aside the disputed congresses of the APC held last year.

There were also gunshots at the state secretariat of the APC following the attempts by policemen to arrest some chieftains of the party over their involvement in the court invasion. Two persons were reportedly arrested.

The APC chairman in the state, Dr Dennis Otiotio-Odoni, who distanced members of the party from the fracas at the court, alleged that those involved were supporters of an opponent party.

He expressed confidence in the ability of the judiciary to adjudicate in matters concerning the party and urged the police to fish out those behind the court invasion.

He said, “APC has nothing to do with the invasion of the court. We are a law-abiding party and we have faith in the judiciary over cases before it. We condemn the act in its entirety and call on the police to fish out those behind it.”

Another chieftain of the party, Sunday Frank Oputu, condemned the attack, describing it as an open show of disrespect to the symbol of the law.

Counsel to the claimant, P.J. Fawei, described the invasion as a show of disrespect for the sanctity of the court.

Osom told newsmen that those who tore his shirt and dealt him several blows were known APC members.