Bayelsa govt refiles suit against whistleblower over alleged N3bn loan diversion

Yenagoa—The Bayelsa State government on Tuesday refiled a suit against John Idumange, who raised an alarm over alleged diversion of N3 billion Agriculture loan by government officials.

Justice Iniekenimi Uzakah of the State High Court in Yenogoa had struck out the suit which he inherited from Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro of the state’s High Court.

When the case came up before Justice Iniekade Eradiri, the prosecution counsel, Mr John Prosper apologised for absence of the defendant.

Prosper told the court that he learnt that following the striking out of the case by Uzakah, Idumange travelled out of the country for a short course.

“He was not aware that the case had been re-filed and I heard that he will be returning to the country by end of June. I appeal to the court to give reasonable time.

“The adjournment will allow prosecution to put its house in order and produce the defendant for arraignment to take his plea,” Prosper said.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Bayelsa, Biriyai Sambo, filed a suit against Idumange for misdemeanour and seditious publications against government officials.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a Magistrates’ Court had on March 11, 2021 in Yenagoa, ordered Idumange’s detention for 30 days, pending police investigation.

Idumange, who alleged that officials of Bayelsa government had diverted a N3 billion Agriculture loan and subsequently submitted a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was arrested on March 10, 2021.

Some officials of the state government reported to the police that Idumange made seditious publications that maligned their persons in his claims.

However, the state’s High Court in Sagbama Division, granted bail to Idumange, who was also an aide on Research and Documentation and later Social Media to former Governor Seriake Dickson.

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