Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm not disturbed by my arraignment—Guobadia

FORMER chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC), Dr. Abel Guobadia, (pictured) declared weekend that his arraignment at a magistrate court in Benin City for alleged defamation against the Anglican Bishop of Benin Diocese, Rev. Peter Imasuen, was not an embarrassment to him.

He said that the situation could have been embarrassing if he had been convicted of the 4-count charge of defamation and publishing false information against the Anglican Bishop, just as he expressed his desire to ensure that the case got to its logical conclusion.
Guobadia, who spoke to newsmen at his GRA residence in Benin City, insisted that the Anglican Bishop was guilty of the allegation against him and said he was ready to go ahead with the suit as “ at the end of the day, the world will see that he is not supposed to be a Bishop in the first place”.

Dr. Guobadia traced the crisis in the church to the demand by the youths and elders of the church for the creation of an additional Diocese out of the present Benin Diocese in 2008.
He said that the Primate of Anglican Church in Nigeria , Rev. Peter Akinola, had visited Benin to mediate on the face off between the Bishop and the elders in which the bishop was made to apologise to the elders.

He stressed the need for the leadership of Anglican Church in the country to take an urgent decision on the crisis rocking the church in Edo state.
According to him, “ there are indications that more elders of the Anglican Church will be arrested in relation with the ongoing suit at the Benin Magistrate Court because, we as elders of the church must be on the side of the truth.

“ If you say you are a Bishop, why will you be arresting your members because of the truth? But we are not bothered because we believe that the leadership of the Anglican communion will find solution to the problem”.

Dr Guobadia was arraigned, alongside a prominent Benin-based lawyer, Mr. Samuel Urhoghide, in a Benin magistrate court last Wednesday for a four-count charge of defamation of the character of the Bishop of the Diocese.

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