Abia Update: Court Remands 30 Suspected IPOB Members In Prison
A Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered the remand of 30 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in prison custody. The court on Thursday, September 14, ordered that the suspects be held in prison pending hearing on their matter.
Punch reports that the suspects were arrested on Tuesday, September 12, by some police officer of the Rivers state command for their alleged involvement in violent acts. The IPOB members were accused of breaching the peace in Oyibo local government area of Rivers state.
However, nine out of the 30 IPOB members were accused of killing a police sergeant, Steven Daniel during the crisis which continue on Wednesday, September 13.
All the accused persons were charged with treason, , armed robbery, felony, unlawful assembly, unlawful protest and other crimes in a suit no: PMC/1936c/2017 and PMC/1935c/2017. The court also did not take plea of the accused person, the Chief Magistrate Amadi Amadi-Nna directed the registrar to remit the case file to the director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice. Amadi-Nna also adjourned the matter indefinitely.
Reacting to the court's ruling, the prosecution counsel, Enoch George, said the police is determined to ensure that the suspects are prosecuted according to law.
George, who is a Superintendent of Police said: "Naturally, the defendants have their lawyers and they also raised legal issues that the court does not have jurisdiction over." “They (defendants) also said that the court should strike out the charges and discharge them. But we, the prosecutors, decided that the charge on which they were brought to court was very heavy and weighty.
“Some of the accused persons were charged under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Justice Law in Rivers State, which is murder, while some were charged under Section 69, 70, which is unlawful assembly, procession and others and some of them were charged with treasonable felony," George added.
But counsel to the suspects Donald Loho said he would explore every option within the law to ensure that the suspects are freed.