BY UGOCHUKWU ALARIBE
ABA- An Aba North Magistrate Court has remanded 14 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, at the Aba Prisons, for alleged terrorism, murder and arson.
The 14 suspects; Anthony Nnamani, Chima Chukwumere, Kingsley Sunday, Michael Onyediakchi, Eze Okereke, Christian Sylvester, Etim Effiong, Emmanuel Onwukwe , Ndubuisis Ukoha, Ogbonna Nwaji, Salvation Stephen, Chizoba Nwosu, Ejike Elom and kelechi Anusie, were arraigned on an 8 count charge which includes the murder of ASP Cyril Nwosu,the burning of the Ariaria Police station and exhibit vehicles as well as theft of pump action rifle belonging to the Police.
According to charge No /MAN/ 135C/2007, the alleged offences are punishable under sections 62, 64, 71, 319 (I), 324, 443(a), 443, 516(a) of the criminal code cap 80, volume III laws of the Abia state of Nigeria.
Prosecuting counsel, ASP Nnamdi Ogbonna, held that the court has jurisdiction to make an order on the matter and pleaded with the court to commence the trial.
Counsel for 1st, 2nd, and 5th accused, Charles Onuchukwu , including those standing for the other accused, raised preliminary objection that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear some of the offences such as murder on which the accused were arraigned, adding that holding charge was unknown to law.
After listening to the argument of the counsel, Presiding Magistrate, Ogbonna Adiele directed the Police to submit the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, and adjourned to October 4, 2017, for report on compliance.
The Court also adjourned to October 6, 2017, for ruling on Charge No; MAN/ 132C/2017 and MAN/133C/2017 on which 7 suspected members of the IPOB were earlier arraigned on September 18, 2017, for murder, use of offensive weapons, terrorism, kidnapping and threatening behaviour Law No. 10 of 2009. The 21 accused persons could not take their plea and were ordered to be remanded at the Aba Prisons.
Tragedy was averted at the end of the court session when two unidentified Policemen who had earlier mandated families of the suspects to provide them with money for upkeep; threatened to shoot them if they fail to leave the area.