A Chief Magistrate Court in Warri, Delta State, has granted bail to Chief Ayiri Emami, after he was arraigned on Wednesday on allegations bordering on conspiracy, burglary and stealing.
Ayiri, a billionaire businessman, is being accused of invading the palace of the Olu of Warri alongside others early this year following the demise of Ogiame Ikenwoli.
It’s being alleged that during the invasion of the palace, two ceremonial crowns of the Olu, were reportedly carted away by the invaders.
Ayiri was arraigned on three-count charge – conspiracy, burglary and stealing – before Chief Magistrate E.H Diejomaoh with Charge Number MW/178 C/2021.
The embattled Ologbotsere, who had denied his involvement in the invasion of the palace, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.
The two royal crowns valued at Two Billion Naira being properties of Itsekiri Kingdom were stolen when the invaders broke into the palace on March 30, 2021 at about 11:30 pm.
The offences, police prosecuting counsel, SP Sunday Irabor, told the court are punishable under Sections 411, 516 and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta 2006.
“That Ayirimi Emami others now at large on March 30, 2021 at about 11:30 pm at Olu Palace, Warri at the Warri Magistarial District did conspired among yourselves the commit felony to with Burglary and Stealing thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal
Code Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta 2006.
“That Emami others now at large on March 30, 2021 at about 11:30 pm at Olu Palace, Warri did conspired among yourselves the commit felony to break into dwelling house of the Olu of Warri thereby committed an Offence Punishable Under Section 411 of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta 2006.
“That Emami others now at large on March 30, 2021 at about 11:30 pm at Olu Palace, Warri did stole two Crowns valued at Two Billion Naira, properties of Itsekiri Kingdom and thereby committed an Offence Punishable Under Section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta 2006”, the charge sheet read.
The court, however, granted Ayiri bail after his lead counsel, Mr Emmanuel Uti, pleaded with court to grant his client bail.
Chief Magistrate Diejomaoh, while granting the bail, said “The sureties must be at Grade Level 15 in the Civil Service. They must provide their passports and body photographs, as well as national means of identification.”
The court adjourned the case to January 19, 2022 for further hearing on suit.
Ayiri confirmed his arraignment in court on Wednesday to NIGER DELTA TODAY, accusing some prominent Itsekiri chiefs including the Iyatsere of Warri, Chief Johnson Atsheghele, of being behind the case.
He stated that his arraignment would not stop him from pursuing other cases he had already instituted in various courts challenging the selection and emergence of Ogiame Atuwatse lll as Olu of Warri.
The Itsekiri chief vowed to pursue the case to a logical conclusion to clear his name of any involvement in the invasion of the palace.