Police have arraigned eight persons, including a female, before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for alleged involvement in the Tuesday, protest march by supporters of Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
The accused persons were: Benedict Egine (55), Uchenna Emenike (25), Chukwunonso Nwaolisa (36), Obilor Onyemachukwu (29), Ogbonna Godwin (31), Wilson Ezeka (42) and female, Destiny Amuchechukwu (19).
The 55 years old Egine was arraigned separately on charges of conspiracy and breach of peace. Others were also arraigned on similar charges.
The accused persons, on count one, were said to have conspired to “levy war against the Federal Government”, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 37 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Law of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.
Also, on count two, they were accused of unlawfully demonstrating and chanting “war songs” and the need for a Biafra nation, which caused panic in the neighbourhood.
The offence is punishable under Section 37 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Law of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.
Shortly after the arraignment, counsel and elder brother to Egine, Chief Patrick Egine, wondered why his brother was the only person the police could arrest, after the prosecution told the court that they were over-powered by the protesters.
The trial Chief Magistrate, B. Jamabo, declined to treat the matter on grounds of lack of jurisdiction.
He referred the matter to the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice and ordered that the accused persons should be remanded in prison custody pending the outcome of the advice.
The matter was adjourned till December 3, this year, for mention.
It would be recalled that thousands of Biafra supporters staged a protest march on November 12, paralysing business activities in Port Harcourt and its environs. (Daily Sun)