February 11, 2015

Treason: Feb 19 for hearing on bail application for Biafra 11

Treason: Feb 19 for hearing on bail application for Biafra 11

The arrested Biafra Zionists Federation, BZF, members on parade.

By Austin Ogwuda

Enugu—Justice D. V. Agishi of a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, yesterday, reserved ruling on the treason case against 11 members of Biafra Zionist Federation, BZF for February 19.

The suspects had attempted to declare a separate republic in Nigeria in Enugu, when they were arrested.

The accused persons, currently held at Enugu Prisons will, on that date, know their fate, following the bail application by the accused lead counsel, Mr. Olu Omotayo, during yesterday’s sitting.

The application was, however, vehemently opposed by the Federal Government who is prosecuting the case.

Prosecution counsel, Mrs. A. G. Ezedigbo, on behalf of the Federal Government, had asked the court not to grant them bail on the ground that BZF is a violent movement seeking to restore the Biafra Republic, a political structure earlier disbanded by the Federal Government of Nigeria and cited the case between the ex-Niger Delta warlord, Dokubo Asari and the Federal Government.

However, the defence counsel, Mr. Omotayo countered and submitted that the “Biafra Zionist Federation is a peaceful movement for the liberation of the entire Biafra people of former Eastern region of Nigeria and is not an outlawed organization in Nigeria.”

He stated that the instant case should not be likened to the case between Dokubo Asari and the Federal Government, which prosecution relied on in opposing the bail application.

“No two cases are exactly similar and even if they are, the court is not bound by a previous decision, because that would be putting an end to the discussion; no discretion in one case can be precedent for another.”

He further submitted that Asari’s case “is inapplicable because the prevailing circumstances in Niger Delta region are different from that of South-East now.

“The activities of the Biafra activists have not in any way created the situation obtainable in Niger Delta region then.”