Two remanded over missing Anambra Labour Party governorship candidate

Two individuals suspected of involvement in the disappearance of Chief Obiora Agbasimelo, the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2021 Anambra State election, have been remanded in prison by the Anambra High Court in Nnewi.

The accused persons, Jude Chukwudi Odimegwu and Nwokolo Chukwudi Maxwell, stand accused of kidnapping Agbasimelo during a campaign tour in Lilu, Ihiala local government area, in the run-up to the 2021 election.

Agbasimelo has remained missing since that incident.

Initially, the Department of State Services had brought charges against the suspects in a Magistrate court in Awka, accusing them of conspiracy and kidnapping.

Subsequently, following a directive from the judge to transfer the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice, the agency leveled the same two-count charges of conspiracy and kidnapping.

The DPP alleged that the suspects, armed with guns and other offensive weapons, abducted Obiorah Agbasimalo against his will and subsequently demanded a ransom of N1 million, N5 million, and another N1 million, totaling N7 million, from his family for his release.

During the court proceedings on Tuesday, October 3, counsel for Nwokolo Maxwell was absent, leading Justice C N Mbonu-Nwenyi to adjourn the case until October 27, 2023.

Justice Mbonu-Nwenyi, however, issued a stern warning, emphasizing that further unwarranted delays in the prosecution of the case would not be tolerated, and noted that, thus far, it has been the defense, not the court, causing the delays.