Ten men, yesterday, appeared before a Lagos chief magistrate’s court sitting in Ikeja, over alleged inciting news publication in the newspaper, The Biafra Times.
The accused, Peter Eke, Jamiu Eke, Azeez Ayoola, Akeem Adebakin, Bisi Akeem, Adewumi Temitope, Sakiru Folorunsho, Rafiu Qudus, Kunle Olusola, and Ayodeji Odunyingbo, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Aje Afunwa.
They had all pleaded not guilty to the seven-count charge preferred against them by the Lagos State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Panti Yaba.
After their plea, their lawyer, Lucy Baadoo, moved an application for bail on liberal terms.
The bail application was, however, refused by the magistrate who rather ordered accelerated hearing of the case. She consequently, adjourned the case to February 10, 17 and 24 for commencement of trial.
In the charge, the prosecutor, Mr. Effiong Asuquo, OC Legal of SCID, alleged that the accused projected obscene article in an unlicensed publication known as The Biafra Times on January 29.
They were alleged to have reproduced statements, rumours and reports calculated at inciting secession in a section of the country and which publication is capable of putting the government in fear.
The publication is said to contain pictorial displays of persons living and dead in a manner likely to provoke or bring into disaffection some section of the country.
The accused were also alleged to have conducted themselves in a manner likely to constitute a breach of peace.
The offences is said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 58, 59 and 403 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Cap C17 Laws of the Federation, 2015.
Substantive trial of the accused is to begin on February 10, 17 and 24.