A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, has started the trial of Kenneth Kobani, Secretary of State Government of the Rivers State charged with electoral offences, breach of public peace and terrorism allegedly committed on March 19 in Gokana local Government area of the state.
Kobani is being prosecuted for alleged electoral offences by the Department of State Security, DSS.
The case has now been adjourned for further hearing till 28th September, 2016 the continuation of the trial of Secretary to the Rivers State Government.
He was accused of allegedly holding some Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials hostage during the March 19 rerun election in Gokana Local Government.
On cross examination at resumed trial, the INEC electoral officer in charge of the election in Gokana, Emmanuel Isong, told the court that the rerun election was disrupted in the area due to heavy shooting and explosions.
The INEC electoral officer did not indict any political party or individual for the electoral violence in Gokana.
The Secretary to the Rivers State Government Kobani, who is a lawyer and currently on bail was present in court.
In a related development, Justice Mohammad Liman of a Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt struck out a suit instituted by the PDP candidate in the March 19 rerun election for Degema Constituency Farah Dagogo.
The PDP candidate Dagogo had gone to court seeking an order compelling INEC to issue him Certificate of Return claiming that he won the election.
The court struck out the suit following an application for discontinuation of the matter by filed by counsel to Farah Dagogo.
Counsel to the Lulu Braide, the APC candidate in the Degema Constituency rerun election Emenike Ebete said the discontinuation of the case by the PDP candidate is commendable because the Federal High Court lacks the power to handle post election dispute.
Ebete also said the decision of his client Lulu Braide not to oppose the discontinuation of the matter is not an admission that Dagogo won the election.
Ebete hinted that the case would be pursued in an appropriate court, which is the Elections Petitioned tribunal in Abuja that purely set up for election matters.