Tuesday, 18 October, 2016
ENUGU— The Magistrate Court sitting in Enugu, today threatened to issue a bench warrant of arrest to the 12 IPOB brethren arrested on Monday 19, September, 2016 over the September 23 ‘sit-at-home sensitization campaign,’ for failing to appear before it for trial.
The hearing of the case which is between the Enugu State Commissioner of Police(COP) and the 12 defendants was stalled over the inability of 6 of them to appear in court today.
Although during the hearing, the legal representatives to the COP was nowhere in sight as they appeared late after the defense lawyer to the 12 defendants pleaded with the court to adjourn hearing to a later date for proper sensitization of the 12 accused.
The case would have been struck out for lack of merit assuming defendants who should stand in for trial were complete, owing to the initial absence of the Police Prosecutor.
Consequently, the Magistrate granting the prayer, adjourned the hearing to continue on November 28, 2016.
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Speaking to BIAFRA WRITERS, the first defendant, Mr Ikechukwu Egbonwodo reiterated that for the absence of some of his colleagues, the case would have been struck out, adding that the IPOB lawyer had issued a warning for them to be present in the next adjourned date.
Recall that no fewer than 12 Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was arrested by agents of the Enugu State police command for allegedly mobilising the people for September’s sit-at-home order in protest and in solidarity against the continued incarceration of the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and also to facilitate the possible release of other members remanded in prison custody across states in the country, for an alleged offence bordering on treason.
In a statement made available to journalists by the Enugu state Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Ebere Amaraizu, the police command said the persons were arrested on Monday over threat to attack traders who refused to observe the order.
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The statement by the Command’s spokesperson, SP Ebere Amaraizu, said the suspected IPOB members threatened to deal with any trader who opens for business on the day of the protest, stressing that all traders must stay indoors in solidarity with the group.
Amaraizu in the statement said, the suspects were apprehended while addressing traders in Ogbete Main Market in the state, adding that upon completion of investigation, they will be charged to court.
The statement reads, “No fewer than twelve suspected members of a group identified as indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) were on 19/9/16 in the afternoon nabbed by the security operatives of the Enugu state police command who acted on intelligence information gathered about the said group in relation to its activity.
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“Suspects were nabbed inside the popular ogbete market of Enugu state as they allegedly went into the market with public address to threaten and inflict fears on the members of the public precisely the marketers not to come to market from 20/9/16 and that if anyone is seen that the person will be dealt with by the group. The operatives arrested the suspects as the alleged threat announcement was being carried out.
Amaraizu disclosed that items recovered from the suspects includes, “21 handsets of different types, various leaflets in which some of them reads thus: IPOB FOR THE BETTERMENT OF YOUR CHILDREN AND THAT OF YOURSELF, PLEASE SIT AT HOME ON 23/9/16,THERE WILL BE NO WORK,NO SCHOOL,NO BUSINESS,NO MARKET, FREE NNAMDI KANU, FREE BIAFRA, ALL HAIL BIAFRA.”
Other items recovered include, “flags suspected to be that of the group with their insignia, public address systems, one wireless microphone. Suspects are helping the operatives in their investigations and will soon be charged to court,” Amaraizu said.
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The statement stated that the suspects would be arraigned in court after investigation, adding that the command had collaborated with other sister agencies to beef up security in parts of the state so as to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
Reporting from Enugu,
Published By Chijindu Benjamin Ukah
For Biafra Writers.