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The Rivers State Police Command yesterday arraigned 45 members of the
Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the
Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, before two Chief
Magistrate Courts sitting in Port Harcourt for treason over their
alleged involvement in the Friday agitation in Rivers State.
members of the IPOB and the MASSOB had on Friday, organised a
solidarity rally to commemorate the swearing in of Mr Donald Trump as
the new American president.
But the security operatives in the
state arrested over 65 of them and disrupted the rally, claiming that
the Pro-Biafran agitators did not obtain permit before commencing the
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr.
Francis Odesanya charged the arrested persons to court on two counts of
conspiracy to felony and treasonable felony.
Seven of them were arraigned before Chief
Magistrate Obi Amadi-Nna and the remaining 38 brought before the Chief
Magistrate, Sokari Andrew-Jaja.
The Charge sheet No:
PMC/112C/2017 read: “That you Baco Johnson, Cosmos Monday, Chinonso Kalu
and 42 others on January 20, 2017 at Garrison Bus stop, Port Harcourt
in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District did conspire amongst
yourselves to commit felony to wit: treasonable felony and thereby
committed an offence punishable under section 516A (1) of the Criminal
Code Cap 37 Vol II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999. “That you,
Baco Johnson, Cosmos Monday, Chinonso Kalu and 42 others on the same
date and time and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did
conduct yourselves in a manner likely to force or compel the president
to change his measures, by displaying flags and other items of the
Biafran Republic with such intention by an act to take over the
government of Nigeria by force and thereby committed an offence
punishable under section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol II Laws
of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.”
When the court sat around
6:22 pm, the Chief Magistrate, Mr. Sokari Andrew-Jaja, adjourned the
matter till January 30 and asked the parties involved in the matter to
appear on the adjourned date with their written addresses. Andrew-Jaja
stated that the adjourned date would be for the adoption of written
addresses, in order to determine whether the court has the jurisdiction
to hear the matter and remanded the suspects in prison.
the Chief Magistrate, Mr. Obi Amadi-Nna, who received seven of the
suspects also remanded them in prison and adjourned till January 30 for
adoption of written addresses on the same offences.