By Ijendu Iheaka
Police in Aba on Tuesday arraigned six staff members of Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State (TIMAAS) at the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Eziama, Aba North LGA for attempted murder and stealing.
The six TIMAAS staff members are Onwughara Victor (31), Ogbonnaya Obasi (28), Chinedu Nwabilite (34), James Emmanuel (29), Onwugbufor Chigozie (40) and Eze Enwereji (37).
The defendants were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Samuel Elekeson with five of them present in court while one of them, Onwugbufor Chigozie was absent.
The TIMAAS team were slammed with a three-count charge of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and the stealing of N246, 000 belonging to Mrs. Joyce Egbusinwa.
Their alleged offences according to the charge document are punishable under Sections 516 (A), 320 (1) and (2) and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap 80, Volume 3, Laws of Abia State of Nigeria, 2005,
The first charge said that the team, on July 1, 2022 at Brass Junction in Eziama, Aba Magisterial district, conspired to commit murder of one Miss Amuche Egbusinwa.
The second charge said the team unlawfully attempted to kill one Miss Amuche Egbusinwa by pushing her off a moving vehicle with registration number Abia EZA 77 YF.
It further said that Amuche was with her mother who was inside the vehicle where the team had forced her mother into when they pushed her out resulting in harm and the endangerment of her life.
The third charge said the team stole the cash of N264, 000. 00 from Mrs Joyce Egbusinwa.
The defendants who were asked if they wanted the Chief Magistrate’s Court to try their matter or if they wanted it moved to the High Court, said they wanted to be tried at the Chief Magistrate’s Court.
Their charges were then read to them one after the other, and all of them pleaded not guilty to the three charges levied against them.
Thereafter, Mr. Chukwudi Ezenwaku, and Tobechi Adiele, lawyers for the defendants, made an oral application for the bail of the defendants arguing that their offences were bailable.
However, the Police Prosecutor, Mrs. Mary Udorji, DSP, urged the court to deny the defendants bail even though their offences were bailable.
She argued that the victim, Amuche Egbusinwa who was seriously injured by the action of the TIMAAS team, was still lying critically ill in the Police Clinic at Aba Area Command.
She said that as a result of the state of her health, which no one knows how it would turn out to be, the team should not be granted bail to enable them be available for their trial.
However, Chief Magistrate Elekeson who admitted the high handedness of the TIMAAS staff members who had made him their victim at one time, said their offences were bailable.
He expressed unhappiness in the way Mr. Chinedu Ikeokwu, the TIMAAS Commander had allowed his staff to become a terror to people living in and coming into Aba with vehicles.
He expressed greater sadness that Ikeokwu allowed such a matter to come to court instead of settling the matter out of court.
The Chief Magistrate later called on a Senior Lawyer in the court, Mr. Chidi Nwachukwu to comment on the issue of TIMAAS.
Nwachukwu said that the TIMAAS staff had become a nightmare indeed to people driving into Aba stressing that the agency staff needed re-orientation and cautioning.
Elekeson therefore ruled that the TIMAAS team be remanded in Aba prison till Wednesday to enable him go and see the victim in the hospital.
The matter was later adjourned to Wednesday for ruling on bail application.