Thursday, 30 October 2014

Biafrans Protests as FG fails to arraign 12 Biafra activists



The expected arraignment of 12 members of the Biafra Zionist Federation (BZF) before the Federal High Court Enugu on Thursday was stalled, prompting angry reactions from members of the group.

The Biafra activists are facing charges of treasonable felony.

The Attorney General of Federation (AGF) is prosecuting the accused persons on behalf of the Federal Government

As early as, BZF members thronged the court premises to
see their leaders, who had been in detention in an isolated police cell in Force Headquarters Abuja for over four months

Although it was reliably gathered that the detainees were brought down to Enugu two days ago for their arraignment, they were not in Court.

The accused persons are Benjamin Onwuka (Leader of the Movement), Kelvin Eke, Samson Ijaga, Uduma Uduma, Bethrain Obiekwe,Abraham Ugwu, Paulinus Uzoegbu, Fidelis Nwaano, Nnamchi Ndubuisi, Michael Olennya, Jeophet Nwaodo and Aloysius Chukwuma.

The AGF, who filed the charge against the accused persons, also did not appear in Court yesterday.
 Addressing the Court, the defence counsel, Olu Omotayo, said he was surprised about the absence of the AGF.

Omotayo, who is the South-East Zonal Director of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) said: “I am surprised that despite the fact that AGF has filed a charge in this case, the accused persons have not been brought to court.

“They have not written to Court about it. In this circumstance, we are asking for a very short date. On the next date, if they fail to bring them, we will ask that the matter be struck out.

“This is a ploy to frustrate our fundamental human rights suit, which we have filed. We are asking that they should be brought to court or they should be released. They filed the charge to frustrate our matter that is coming up next week”.

After hearing the submissions of the defence counsel, the presiding judge, Justice D. V. Agishi adjourned the matter for November 19.

Speaking with journalists outside the courtroom, National Chairman of BZF, Mr. Cyril Onyia expressed their disappointment over the setback in the arraignment of their leader, Ben Onwuka and 11 other members who have been in detention for over four months without trial.

“We are not happy. We came the other day and their lawyer pleaded that they will bring them today. We came today again, we didn’t see their lawyer and our people who they are holding in Abuja.

“I won’t say more than this because we are in court. We are waiting for the court to decide. We will not take law into our hands. We have never taken the law into our hands before”, Onyia said.

He noted that their members converged in the court from Kogi, Abuja, Lagos, Calabar, Benin and other parts of the country in solidarity with their comrades being held in captivity by the Federal Government, and not seeing them in court, they were now stranded.

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