A 63-year-old lawyer, Mr. Vincent Ogbungbada, was on Thursday arraigned before a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, for alleged kidnapping and attempted murder.
Ogbungbada was accused of kidnapping one Mr. Fortune Ogbungbada, who was held hostage for four days with the aim of demanding for ransom.
The suspect was also accused of attempting to kill one Agnes Ogbungbada by shooting her with a gun.
When the charges were read to the suspect, he pleaded not guilty to all of them.
The charges read, "That you, Vincent E. Ogbungbada, 'M', with others now at large, sometimes between the month of October 2016-January 2017 at Rumuologu, Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Judicial Division, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: kidnapping and attempted murder, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C 38 Law of the Federation 2004.
"That you, Vincent E. Ogbungbada 'M', with others at large on the same date and place, in the aforesaid Judicial Division, did kidnap one Mr. Fortune Ogbungbada and kept him for four days in your custody with an intent to demand for ransom, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1 (1) of the Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) Amendment Law No. 5 of 2015.
"That you, Vincent E. Ogbungbada 'M', with others now at large, on the same date and place, in the aforesaid Judicial Division, did attempt to unlawfully kill one Agnes Fortune Ogbungbada by shooting her with a gun, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 320 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C 38 Laws of the Federation 2004."
Having pleaded not guilty to all the counts, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Essien Edet and counsel for the accused, Mr. D.I. Akwakpam, argued on a date to be fixed for Vincent's bail application.
The presiding judge, Justice Margaret Opara, however, adjourned the matter till Tuesday, July 4, 2017 for bail application and hearing.
Justice Opara ordered that the accused be remanded in police custody pending the resumption of hearing on Tuesday.
It will be recalled Vincent, who is a relative to the paramount ruler of Rumualogu, His Royal Highness Eze Ignatius Ogbungbada, was arrested after the abduction of the monarch's son.
Fortune Ogbungbada, who is the son of the traditional ruler, was kidnapped on January 22, 2017 within a church premises in Rumualogu, Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers State.
It was also within the same period that the monarch's daughter-in-law (Agnes) who was carrying a six-month-old baby was shot in the mouth and right hand.
The police, after their investigation, decided to arrest and arraign the monarch's half-brother, Vincent Ogbungbada in connection with the crime.