Hoodlums, numbering over 30, disrupted proceedings in the hearing of a suit into the disputed ward, local government and State congresses of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the Bayelsa State High Court.
The claimant, Alex Blackson and his brother, Osom Blackson, were injured during the stampede in the court room, while the presiding Judge, Justice Nayai Aganaba, was stoned.
The Judge was later whisked to safety by his police orderly.
Most of the lawyers were chased out, while those who came with the claimant were brutalised.
The hoodlums were said to have been provoked over the alleged insistence of Justice Aganaba to hear the suit filed by Alex Blackson, seeking the order to set aside the disputed congresses of the APC held last year.
There was also sporadic shooting at the State Secretariat of the APC following the attempts by policemen to arrest some chieftains of the party over their alleged involvement in the court invasion.
Two persons were reportedly arrested.
Chairman of APC in the state, Dr Dennis Otiotio-Odoni, who distanced members of APC from the fracas at the court, alleged that those involved were PDP supporters.
He expressed confidence in the ability of the Judiciary to adjudicate in matters concerning the party and urged the police to fish out those behind the court invasion.
He said, “APC has nothing to do with the invasion of the Court. We are a law-abiding party and we have faith in the Judiciary over cases before it. We condemn the act in its entirety and call on the Police to fish out those behind it.”
Counsel to the claimant, Barr. P.J. Fawei, described the invasion as a show of disrespect to the sanctity of the court.
A Chieftain of the party and brother to the claimant, Osom Blackson, told newsmen that those who tore his shirt and dealt him several blows were known APC members.
Another chieftain of the Party, Hon. Sunday Frank Oputu, condemned the attack, describing it as an open show of disrespect to the symbol of the law.
Editor’s note: This picture was used for illustration