The Federal Government has filled a fresh six-count charge of treason and managing the affairs of ‘an unlawful society,’ against the embattled leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu was charged before the Federal High Court, Abuja alongside two others, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.
MASSOB, IPOB accuse Obiano
Meanwhile, Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, which were the arrow-heads of the agitation for the release of their detained leader and Director, Radio Biafra, Nnamadi Kanu, have accused Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State of alleged collusion with security operatives to kill, maim its members, who were last week, jubilating over the bail granted their leader by a Federal High Court, Abuja.
Also, pro-Biafra agitators in Delta State, yesterday, declared support for the leader of the Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, describing him as a non violent messiah.
In the fresh charge, the trio were accused of committing treasonable felony, an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, when the matter came up before Justice Mohammed, yesterday, neither the prosecuting counsel nor the accused persons were present in court.
However, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor announced appearance for the defendants, even as he queried the seriousness of the Federal Government to prosecute the matter.
Ejiofor insisted that the fresh charge was nothing but a ploy by the government to ensure the continued detention of the accused persons, especially Kanu, who was earlier granted bail by the same high court.
Nevertheless, Justice Mohammed, explained that though the matter was slated in the court’s cause-list for mention, yesterday, he said it was obvious that the prosecution was not notified.
The judge therefore, adjourned the case, saying a date for the arraignment of the accused persons would be communicated to all the parties.
Meanwhile, there was heavy police presence around the court premises yesterday.
In the fresh charge, FG, alleged that the three accused persons were the ones managing the affairs of “an unlawful society,” the IPOB.
The charge read, “That you, Nnamdi Kanu and other unknown persons, now at large, in London, United Kingdom, between 2014 and September, 2015, with intention to levy war against Nigeria in order to force the President to change his measures of being the President of the Federation, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation as defined in Section 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) by doing an act to wit: Broadcast on Radio Biafra your preparations for the states in the South- East geo-political zone, South-South geo-political zone, the Igala Community of Kogi State and the Idoma/Igede Community of Benue State to secede from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and form themselves into a Republic of Biafra, and thereby committed an offence punish- able under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
It will be recalled that Justice Ademola Adeniyi of the same high court had on December 17, ordered the “unconditional” release of the IPOB leader, Kanu, from the custody of the Department of State Service, DSS.
Kanu who is also the Director of Radio Biafra and Television, was on October 17, arrested in Lagos by security operatives, shortly after he arrived Nigeria from his base in the United Kingdom.
Pro-Biafra agitators in Delta State in a communique, meanwhile, at the end of the enlarged meeting of BIM, in Asaba, the state capital, who are from lgbo speaking axis, condemned violent approach to the agitation.
The communiqué by the zonal Leader of the group, Chinedu Amaifeobu, said Uwazuruike’s led BIM shines out among the numerous groups currently processing the crusade for the autonomous state of Biafra.
They frowned at all accusation levelled against Uwazuruike, saying he was the authentic freedom fighter for the agitation.
Also, MASSOB, and IPOB in statement in Enugu yesterday, by MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu said, “We hold Governor Obiano responsible for the killings, arrest, torture, maiming and wounding of non violent, peaceful IPOB,MASSOB members in Ontisha jubilating over the news of Nnamdi Kanu’s court release order.
“Anambra State in Nigeria where members of MASSOB, IPOB demonstrated, protested or jubiliated because of Nnamdi is not the only state in Nigeria. We have not recorded any killings, harassment, massive arrest, clampdown, shootings, torture and unguided statement but only in Anambra State.
“During Obiano’s condolence visit to Hausa residents in Onitsha over the touching of Mosque by sponsored hoodlums, Obiano sympathized with them without mentioning or commiserating with non violence Biafran agitators killed, arrested and tortured by security agents. He tactically supported them to clampdown and disperse non violence MASSOB,IPOB members.
“This executive order prompted and motivated the Army to kill, maim, arrest our members in Ontisha, including those killed on the day of jubilation.”
Meanwhile, leader of BIM, Uwazuruike, yesterday, attributed corruption as a major factor propelling politicians to pretend that all was well in Nigeria, even when the country was in a state of despair.
He decried the level of corruption in high places in government in the country and regretted that Nigeria was the only country in the world where leadership offered political leaders the best opportunity to steal public funds and go scot-free.
Corruption propels Nigerians
In his goodwill message during the end of 2015 BIM security meeting at Mgbago, Umueri in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State, Uwazuruike stated that some politicians were ready to die for one Nigeria only because of the opportunity the country offers them for horrendous stealing, not because Nigeria holds any bright future for their children and children’s children.
Uwazuruike whose message was delivered by BIM’s Deputy National Director for Information, Chris Mocha, expressed concern that Nigeria would continue to have problems because of persistent failure of her leaders to tell masses the truth, stressing that nobody sees himself as a Nigerian.
According to the Biafran leader, “Nigerians see themselves as Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Kataf, Tivs, Ijaws, among others, and that is why the Yoruba sentiment will always protect their own sons who looted Nigerian treasury, that is also why the Arewa sentiment will do the same for any Hausa/Fulani leader who stashed away public money and that is why the Igbo sentiment viewed a call to probe any of their own kinsmen who stole Nigerian money as a witch-hunt.”
He lashed at the leaders for pretending that all was well with Nigeria when indeed the country was burning and emphasized that in Biafra land there will be no room for corruption.
Rights group condemns police road blocks, extortion
Meanwhile, a civil society group, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, yesterday raised alarm over what it identified as re-emergence of police roadblocks and high level of extortion from motorists in the South East geo-political zone of the country, accusing the extortionists of using pro-Biafran peaceful protests as a cover.
Intersociety said the return of police roadblock extortion points in June 2015 in Nigeria, as ordered by Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, particularly in the Southeast zone, which reached its peak in October 2015, had further made mockery of the doubtful anti-corruption policy of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
In a statement, yesterday in Onitsha, Anambra State, the group said findings from its recent zonal investigation in the South East, factually disclosed that there were at least 750 police roadblock/ extortion points mounted and maintained by IG led police on federal, state and intercity roads in the zone.
“Of the minimum of 750 police roadblocks/extortion points currently stationed on Southeast soads; there are 200 in Anambra State, followed by Abia State with 200, Imo State with 150 and Enugu and Ebonyi States with 100 each. Of these five states, Anambra and Abia are most illicitly lucrative; owing to their commercial environmental nature. They are followed by Imo, owing to its strategic link between the two states. Enugu and Ebonyi States are lesser owing to their white-collar or civil service environmental nature.”
The statement by its Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, said “Most of the police roadblock/extortion proceeds from Enugu and Ebonyi States come from highway and inter state road users, particularly users of Enugu-Port Harcourt, Enugu-Onitsha, Enugu-Nsukka-Oturkpa, Enugu-Abakiliki, Abakiliki-Okigwe and Abakiliki-Ogoja Roads as well as inter-State Roads within the two states.”
By Festus Ahon, Ikechukwu Nnochiri, Nwabueze Okonkwo & Francis Igata, Vanguard
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