Police Arrest 21 IPOB Members In Enugu

Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Danmallam Mohammed,
Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Danmallam Mohammed.

 

Some protesting members of the outlawed Independent Peoples Of Biafra (IPOB) have been arrested by the police in Enugu State.

The Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Danmallam Mohammed, who confirmed the arrest told Channels Television that the IPOB members, numbering 21 were arrested while protesting in front of the Government House in the state capital.

“My attention was called that there were some group of people in front of the government office wearing IPOB and Biafra movement flag. I moved into action with some of my officers and we arrested them,” he said.

READ ALSO: Court Convicts Ex-Taraba Governor, Nyame Of Fraud

The Commissioner of Police added that those arrested will not go unpunished.

Among those arrested by the police include one Benjamin Onwuka, who the Commissioner alleges killed a police officer during an IPOB protest in 2014.

Meanwhile, economic activities in the Enugu State capital were grounded on Wednesday as traders comply with a sit-at-home order from the outlawed IPOB group.

Stalls and shops around the town were closed, while the main market was completely deserted.

Only a handful of business premises were opened with some of the traders saying it is in partial compliance with the IPOB order, as opposed to a total compliance.

Biafra Protesters Storm London As Buhari Attends Commonwealth Leaders’ Meeting

BREAKING: Biafra Supporters Protest At Commonwealth House
Biafra supporters stage a protest in front of the Commonwealth House in London on April 19, 2018.

 

A group of people bearing Biafran flags are staging a protest in front of the Commonwealth House in Westminister, London.

The demonstration is taking place as President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of the Commonwealth nations meet on Thursday.

Discussions began shortly after Queen Elizabeth II formally declared the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018) open.

Some of the protesters are carrying banners bear inscriptions of Biafra while others are calling for a referendum.

 

See photos of the protest below:

Kanu Absent Again As Court Orders Separate Trial

 

The treason trial of Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu resumed on Tuesday but the defendant again failed to turn up in court.

The former London estate agent’s populist rhetoric has tapped into lingering separatist sentiment for a breakaway state among the Igbo people who dominate the region.

Getting Frustrating

Prosecutor Shuaibu Labaran told the Federal High Court in Abuja that the absence of the head of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement was “frustrating the trial”.

Judge Binta Nyako ordered the trial of Kanu’s three co-defendants without him on March 20 and prosecute him separately.

Kanu, who also runs Radio Biafra, was first arrested in October 2015, sparking a wave of demonstrations calling for his release across southeast Nigeria.

A previous unilateral declaration of independence in 1967 sparked a brutal civil war that lasted 30 months and left at least one million dead from starvation and disease.

Most of them were Igbos.

Kanu was given bail under strict conditions last year but did not appear for the resumption of his trial in October.

He was last seen in September before troops raided his family home in the Abia state capital, Umuahia, during a crackdown on IPOB and its supporters.

Kanu’s wife, Uchechi, told the BBC in an interview broadcast on Monday: “I don’t know where my husband is, whether he is dead or alive, I don’t know.”

She and his family maintain he is being held in government custody. The government denies the claim and a civil court has ruled there is no evidence to support the assertion.

Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said the three people who stood surety for his client were expected in court on March 28 to explain why he did not answer his bail.

“(The government) should be in a better position to explain to court where he is,” he told reporters outside court. “That is the fact which the sureties are coming to present to the court.

“Nnamdi Kanu never jumped bail and at no point has he indicated interest of not coming to face his trial.”

Police Nab Suspects With ‘Biafra Currency’ In Abia

Police Nab Suspects With 'Biafra Currency' In Abia
File Photo

Abia State Police Command has arrested some suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) caught with Biafra currency in the state.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, disclosed this to reporters on Saturday while parading the purported IPOB members along with other suspects at the Police Officers’ Mess in Umuahia, the state capital.

“These IPOB members were arrested with Biafra currency, so when we say that IPOB has gone beyond a particular stage, the public may seem to disbelieve us because of their propaganda,” he said.

“Gradually you are seeing it, these three IPOB members were caught with the Biafra currency”.

Ogbizi said the arrest was made as a result of the level of professionalism and respect for diversity deployed by men of the Police Command.

He said the suspects would be made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to others.

Others paraded alongside the supposed IPOB members include suspected murderers, kidnappers, armed robbers and child traffickers among others.

Items recovered from them are 10 bags of suspected cannabis, Biafra currency, a pump action gun and phones among others.

Although the suspected murderers and kidnappers made attempts to deny their involvement in crime, Ogbizi insisted that their outcry cannot change the evidence before them.

MASSOB Cautions Biafra Agitators Against Violence

MASSOB Cautions Biafra Agitators Against Violence
File photo

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has advised youths in Nigeria’s South-east region to always resort to non-violent means in the course of their agitation.

This advice came from the Abia Central Zone MASSOB-BIM Zonal Information Director, Anselm Ogbonna, who insisted that nothing good on earth can be achieved through violence.

Ogbonna stated this on Wednesday during an event held at Umuezeoke Ngwu autonomous community in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State.

He, however, maintained that Biafra, as it stands, is a divine agenda which would be actualised at the appropriate time.

He said, “We will not separate violently because we will need Nigeria and Nigeria will need us. So even if we are going, the relationship will remain.”

“I am using this opportunity to advise youths to always use non-violent agitation in their pursuit of Biafra struggle because nothing good on earth is achieved through violence,” he added.

The director also reminded the youths that Dr Ralph Uwazuruike, the chief crusader of Biafra struggle, resurrected the campaign in September 1999 through non-violence and also vowed to actualise Biafra non-violently.

Judge Demands Explanation As Nnamdi Kanu Fails To Appear In Court

Nnamdi Kanu

 
A judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Binta Nyako has ordered all sureties to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, including the Senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Enyinaya Abaribe, to appear before the court.

She asked that they explain why the IPOB leader failed to appear in court today.

When Justice Nyako earlier asked Mr. Ejiofor, counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, for the whereabouts of his client.

He replied that his client was willing and ready to appear before this court.

According to Mr. Ejiofor, since the invasion of his house by the Nigerian Army on the orders of the Federal Government, I don’t know where my client is.

“I cannot tell you if he is dead or alive, “What I am saying is that the soldiers, that went in his house will be in a position to tell you”

Justice Binta replied by asking for the sureties to appear before the court during the next hearing which is November 20, 2017.

We Recovered Weapons From Nnamdi Kanu’s Residence – Abia CP

The Commissioner of Police in Abia State, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, has said that weapons, including petrol bombs and one double-barrel gun, were recovered during the raid carried out on the residence of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Speaking on Thursday during an interactive session held at the officer’s mess in Umuahia, Ogbizi said that the raid was carried out based on an intelligence report and joint effort with the military and they will not hesitate to revisit the home of IPOB leader if there is a new evidence.

“We have an intelligence report that an uncompleted building is being used for training Biafra secret service and we have confirmed it, so my question is, are we not supposed to go there to verify the evidence?

“We recovered many of Biafra’s insignia, the staff of office and some of those items are being analysed,” Ogbizi said.

He said that the petrol bombs were found in buckets and incriminating documents and letters, concerning IPOB’s activities and plans, were also recovered during the raid on Nnamdi Kanu’s house.

READ ALSO: ECOWAS Court Adjourns Nnamdi Kanu’s Case Against FG

Ogbizi also disclosed that a member of the IPOB involved in burning down vehicle and committing homicide has been arrested. He called on parents to keep watch on their children so they will not be misinformed to become hoodlums.

“As I am talking with you, one of the IPOB members who burned down a vehicle and killed somebody has been arrested.

“They should not be allowed to continue and get all the uninformed youths and put them in front to cause mayhem.”

Ogbizi charged the youths to seek other ways to channel their grievances which do not involve violence because the police would not relent in their duty to apprehend defaulters in its bid to maintain peace.

He, however, did not parade the weapons and items recovered but said, “We are analysing the documents and the items we recovered with a view to determining the next line of action.”

Adesina ‘Can’t Confirm Or Deny’ Whether Buhari Endorsed IPOB Ban

Adesina

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says he is unaware of whether President Muhammadu Buhari okayed the declaration of the Indigenous People of Biafra as a terrorist organisation.

Mr Adesina said this in response to questions he was asked during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday.

Secessionist group IPOB had been declared a terrorist group by the Nigerian military on Friday. Hours later, governors of the South-East proscribed the activities of the group.

The development which came amid increased tension in the South East and in some parts of the North has generated a debate. While some have defended the decision of the governors and the declaration by the military some others have criticised.

Among the critics are Senate President Bukola Saraki who declared the declaration and ban unconstitutional in a statement on Monday.

As the debate raged questions emerged about the role of President Buhari in the decision by the military with some reports suggesting he endorsed it.
Asked whether the President endorsed the proscription, Mr Adesina said he had read reports online but could not confirm it.

“I read the report also online today, but it is not something I have discussed with him. So, I can’t confirm or deny whether that actually came up before he left the country,” Adesina who appeared on the programme via Skype said.

READ ALSO: Buhari’s UNGA Speech: It Is A Good Time To Be Nigerian, Says Adesina

The Presidential aide is, however, certain that Nigeria would continue its push for the repatriation of funds stolen from Nigeria and a seat at the UN Security Council at the ongoing UN General Assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari did not focus on both issues in his speech to the General Assembly, but Adesina believes that doesn’t mean there won’t be talk about them.

On Nigeria’s push for a permanent seat on the Security Council, he said, “There is a bilateral meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) where that will also come up. Last year, it was in the speech of the President. He does not need to repeat himself year after year. That can be done at a smaller forum and it’s going to come up.”

He expects the same thing to happen with the country’s quest for the repatriation of stolen funds.

“It (talk about repatriation of funds) had come up in one meeting yesterday and it will still come up. Tomorrow, he (President Buhari) is going to hold a bilateral meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General, you can be sure that is going to be part of what will be discussed,” Adesina said.

Military Has No Right To Declare IPOB Illegal Organisation – Lawyer

Lawyer, Clement Nwankwo.

A lawyer and political analyst Clement Nwankwo, has said there is no legal basis for the declaration of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as an illegal organisation.

Speaking on Channels Television Programme, Sunday Politics, Nwankwo said the decisions of the military in a democratic government is guided by the rule of law, the constitution, and other processes, before a group can be described illegal or a terrorist group.

“There is no legal basis for the declaration of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as an illegal organisation, it is not in the position of the military to make those declarations.

“I think certainly, the military hierarchy needs to understand that this is a democracy, they are guided by the rule of law, there is a constitution and there are laws and processes for declaring an organisation an illegal. If you look at the terrorism act of 2011, the procedure for declaring an organization a terrorist organization is outlined there.

“So, I think the military needs to go back and read the law and understand that they are an institution that is subject to the laws of this country. They have no right to declare an organization to be illegal.”

Among other demands, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are demanding for Biafra country and the breakaway of the South-East region from Nigeria. The political analyst said this demand by IPOB is illegal and IPOB has no right to speak for the people of South-East region, adding that IPOB members are aggrieved at the government because of what they described as marginalization.

“The whole idea or the whole notion that the South-East was once a Biafran country is totally wrong, I have not seen too many people from the South-East region of the country who really want a Biafran country.

“What you see are people who are very aggrieved about what is described as ‘marginalization’, about the inequity and inequality that this particular administration has perpetrated. I think that people are angry that this government is very insensitive to the need to balance and be equitable in the allocation of resources.”

Nwankwo said the military should focus energy on issues arising from external rather than generating internal war by killing innocent civilians.

“We are very disappointed that rather than face these issues (arising from external aggression), the army is instead generating internal wars in the country, fighting and abusing the rights of citizens.

“Let me be expressly clear though, the IPOB organization has no right to speak for the people of the South-East to demand a biafran country. A majority of the people in the South-East do not want a Biafran country, they want equity.

“There are several millions of people from the South-East who do not believe in (the ideologies of IPOB) but when you go in and attack, and abuse people who are doing their businesses, you kill people, then you create sympathies and that is dangerous for this country and the army needs to put a stop to what it is doing, it is not in the interest of Nigeria’s democracy.

Fight For Biafra Is Not Sincere – Orji Kalu

Fight For Biafra Is Not Sincere – Orji Kalu

Former governor of Abia State, Mr Orji Kalu, says the agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is not sincere.

Mr Kalu’s comments come as more reactions continued to trail the declaration of IPOB as a terror group by the Nigerian Military.

The former governor, who addressed reporters in Abia State, condemned the activities of the group who he said were only being used by politicians for political reasons.

‘These boys (IPOB supporters) are not capable of holding anybody to ransom because they are not sincere; fight for Biafra is not a sincere fight, it is an instruction,” he said.

“Let me be honest with you, some politicians were playing politics with it, they are taking these boys to help them to win the election. It’s impossible, it’s not our law, it’s not our way; election must be democratically done.”

Kalu also backed the deployment of soldiers to the region, saying the group’s activities were challenging Nigeria’s sovereignty.

He said he had visited some parts of the state to see things for himself, noting that the situation cannot be handled by the police alone.

“I don’t know why people are shouting all over. I’m in Abia, I have seen mostly all the security chiefs. I’ve gone round Aba, I’ve gone round to see things by myself.

“When you go to a place somebody sews army uniform, somebody says he ha a Biafran intelligence agency, somebody tells you he has Biafran army, do you need to bring police? You don’t need to bring police for God’s sakes; you need to roll out the Army because he has challenged the sovereignty of our nation and that is what it is,” the former governor said.

He, however, urged the Federal Government to consider the report of the 2014 Confab, to help douse the gale of agitations across the land.

Kalu proposed that the only way by which government can address the agitations for secession was to restructure Nigeria, adding that one more state should be created in the South-East region.

He said, “We must come back to see how Igbos, everywhere we are, must get equity; restructure is the only way that we can go. The country must restructure, restructuring does not mean divide the country; restructuring means put things in order.”

“We should go back to the conference resolutions, let’s start with that because that was constituted fairly. I’m pleading with the Federal Government and everybody to back with the 2014 Confab report.

“Let us implement it and they should know that the South-East should have one more state to be able to balance,” said the former governor.

Hoisting Biafra Flag Is An Affront To Nigeria’s Sovereignty, Lawyer

Lawyer, Onyebuchi Ememanka

A Legal practitioner, Onyebuchi Ememanka has condemned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members for hoisting Biafra flag in the South-East region of Nigeria, saying it is an affront to the sovereignty and unity of Nigeria as a nation.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television programme, State of the Nation, Ememanka said the best approach should have been dialogue, instead of hoisting the flag of a planned country inside a sovereign nation, Nigeria.

“From a strict legal perspective, that is unacceptable, to fly the flag of a planned country inside a sovereign nation. It is an affront to the sovereignty of the country.

“The approach would have been to find out the underlining factors that have brought us to where we are and possible engagement in dialogue instead of an outright military action.”

He said although mobilizing military personnel to the troubled region will accelerate peace, the soldiers are gradually leaving the streets of Aba and Umuahia just like the Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has said.

“The militarisation of our region is going to accelerate the peace process and we are happy that the soldiers are beginning to withdraw from the streets.

“Governor Okezie Ikpeazu did say that there was going to be a gradual withdrawal of troops from the streets of Aba and Umuahia to allow tension to come down. I am happy to inform you that, that is happening.

“The Inspector General of Police (on Friday) approved the deployment of 500 anti-riot policemen, who will take over manning the streets from the soldiers.

“We believe that this will accelerate the peace process. Our people are peaceful people and tension is coming down and life is returning to normal.”

Civil War Veterans Endorse Obiano For 2nd Term

The civil war veterans in Anambra State have endorsed Governor Willie Obiano for a second term in office for what they describe as his all-encompassing leadership qualities.

The decision was reached at a round table discussion between the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, and the Biafra war veterans at the governor’s lodge, Amawbia.

Also among the issues discussed was the killing of some members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) during a protest in Nkpor in 2016.

General achuzie declared that the governor did not order the shooting of the defenseless agitators protesting on the platform of IPOB as the police and the Army were not in a position to take direct orders from the governor.

He spoke extensively on the build up to the protest which he said he was privy to as the patron of the IPOB and recalled how he spoke with the then Commissioner Of Police to request that they allowed the agitators to stage a peaceful protest but noted that on that fateful day after the protesters were attacked, a false report was forwarded to the governor.

He insisted that the governor had shown genuine commitment to the people’s history and struggle by undertaking the burial of all that died during the civil war in a state burial tagged “Ozoemena” meaning never again. General Achuzie, therefore, urged people not to be misled by the malicious insinuation that the governor had a hand in the shooting.

“Since then, not now, I have been saying it that no report came to me of the participation of the governor or governor giving that instruction and we are also aware that the governor cannot give instruction to Commissioner Of Police. Commissioner of Police takes orders from the Inspector General of Police while the Army officer takes permission from the GOC at 82 division.”

Speaking on the matter, the governor expressed appreciation to the association for their support and solidarity especially for making clarifications on the IPOB issues.

He, therefore, assured the people that he was committed to promoting peace and stability in the state adding that nothing would come between him and the social contract he had with the people of Anambra State to ensure a meaningful life for all in the state.

Furthermore, he reiterated his innocence in the IPOB saga saying: “I never at any point in time ordered anyone to be shot anywhere.”