The Ondo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force on Friday, hurriedly arraigned seven persons suspected to have been protesting against the decision of the outgoing Governor Olusegun Mimiko to present the 2017 budget before the House of Assembly.
SaharaReporters gathered that the protesters were arrested on Thursday and were immediately accused of attacking a convoy belonging to the embattled state Governor Mimiko.
Our correspondent reported that the arrest was ordered by the Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Hilda Ibifuro Harrison.
Yesterday there were media reports indicating that Mr. Mimiko' s convoy was stoned by aggrieved protesters while trying to visit the Dome Event Centre on Thursday in the company of Dr. Dosunmu Awolowo.
Dr. Awolowo had visited the state capital, Akure, on the invitation of the outgoing Governor to inspect some of his "ongoing projects" to be commissioned by Mr. Mimiko's administration in the state.
The protesters had being laying siege at the entrance to the Ondo State House of Assembly since the crisis begun between lawmakers loyal to the suspended Speaker of the Assembly, Jumoke Akindele, and others.
Their actions have also prevented regular legislative business and direct access to the premises of the State House of Assembly.
Those arraigned are mostly members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who had been staging daily protests against Mr. Mimiko over his move to present the 2017 appropriation bill to the Assembly.
The protesters were arraigned before Mrs. Victoria Bob-Manuel of the Chief Magistrate Court sitting at Oke Eda in Akure.
Those arraigned are: Abiola Eniola (27), Tunde Alabi (28), Yusuf Muhammad (25), Adeniyi Micheal (30), Samson Omodara (20), Ijalade Oluwaseun (27), and Olarawanju Olomolotan (40).
The seven suspects were charged with a four- counts charge bordering on a felony, unlawful assembly, public disturbance, and damage to public property.
Martins Olowofeso, the Police prosecutor, told the Magistrate that the seven protesters were arrested for constituting a nuisance in public places mostly at the State House of Assembly.
Olowofeso revealed how many of the protesters have been causing damages to public properties and harassing political office holders in the state.
He then asked the court to remand the accused persons (protesters) in the police custody pending the determination of further investigation on their case.
However, Femi Adetoye, the defense counsel said the protesters have the right under the constitution to agitate for their demands and asked the court to free the accused since their offenses are bailable.
In her ruling, Victoria Bob-Manuel ordered that the protesters be remanded at the Olokuta prison custody pending the determination of their case and immediately adjourned the matter till 2nd of February 2017.