10th May, 2013
Nine members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were on Friday arraigned before a Magistrates’ Court in Abakaliki, capital of the eastern Nigerian state of Ebonyi.
The Chief Prosecutor, Insp. Ransom Egenkonye, told the court that the accused persons were allegedly caught, planning to commit felony by “managing” an unlawful society called MASSOB.
Egenkonye said that the group had also caused panic among members of the public with their uniforms.
He said that the offence was punishable under the Criminal Code Cap 33 Vol.1 Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
The prosecutor said that the offence also violated the Ebonyi State Internal Security Enforcement and Related Matters Laws Cap 55 Vol.2.
Mr Jerry Ezenyi, Counsel to the accused persons, told the court that the accused were innocent persons who were being prosecuted unjustly.
Ezenyi pleaded that the accused persons should be released on bail.
The Magistrate, Mr Lazarus Nwokah, said that the court could not grant bail to the accused because it lacked the jurisdiction to handle the case.
Nwokah, subsequently, transferred the case to the State High Court for further adjudication and adjourned it sine die.
The accused persons are Peter Nwodom, 31, Benedict Nworie, 39, John Enyi, 42, and Patrick Onyibe, 35.
Others are Ikechukwu Nweke, 32, James Ovu, 49, Pius Nwagwu, 49, Moses Oke, 30, and Clement Igwe, 29.