Police Warn Against Illegal Procession During Yuletide

Police in Nigeria have called on youths and group of persons  intending to embark on any form of illegal procession during the yuletide season to refrain from such plan, as strategy has been put in place to stop such activities.

The AIG Zone Nine, Usman Gwary, gave the warning on Friday while addressing reporters in Umuahia, Abia State in south-east Nigeria.

He said that the police commands within the zone were on red alert to resist any movement that would cause any breakdown of law and order.

Recently, a group, Independent People of Biafra, seeking the actualisation of the State of Biafra, has held series of protests in the region, hampering business activities in the south-east.

The group is also calling for the release of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is facing trial and is being detained by the Department of State Service despite an order of a magistrate court granting him bail since October 19.

Mr Kanu is facing a three-count charge of criminal conspiracy, intimidation and belonging to an unlawful society which he has pleaded not guilty to.

 

Nnamdi Kanu Questions His Continued Detention In Court

nnamdi kanuThe detained leader of the Independent People of Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu has questioned his continued detention by the Department of State Service despite an order of a magistrate court granting him bail since October 19.

In a motion on the enforcement of his fundamental human rights argued before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja, lawyer to Mr Kanu, Vincent Obete, prayed the court to set aside an earlier order of the court granting the Department of State Service (DSS) leave to detain his client for 90 days, pending the conclusion of ongoing investigation of terrorism and terrorism financing.

Mr Obete also prayed the court to strike out the case against his client pending the outcome of the criminal charge preferred against Mr Kanu at the Chief Magistrate Court.

The lawyer to Mr Kanu further asked the court to admit his client to bail and direct the DSS to comply with the orders of the Chief Magistrate Court which earlier granted him bail in October.

Having listened to the grounds of the application as canvassed by Mr Kanu’s lawyer, Justice Adeniyi adjourned the suit to December 14 to enable the lawyer to the Federal Government respond to the application.

Pro-Biafra Protest: Northern And Eastern Traditional Rulers Meet In Owerri

biafraRepresentatives of the Northern Council of Traditional Rulers and their south-east counterparts have met in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, to discuss the prolonged protests and agitations for the state of Biafra, among other issues confronting the nation.

While receiving the delegation at the Government House in Owerri, Governor Rochas Okorocha reiterated that Nigeria would remain united, no matter the challenges being faced at the moment.

He assured Nigerians that in no distant time, the agitation for the State of Biafra will be addressed accordingly.

The delegation was led by Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar, who is the Chairman of the coordinating committee, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, and the Emir of Gumi, Justice Lawal Aliyu Gumi, who is the co-coordinating committee Chairman of Northern States Council of Traditional Rulers.

The Emir of Lafia, Mustapha Agwai, Emir of Fika, Abali Mohammadu and Gwom Gwom Jos, Buba Gyang were also part of the team.

Mr Abubakar noted that the visit was at the instance of His Eminence, Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, who is the Chairman of the Northern Council of Traditional Rulers, to discuss the agitation by pro-Biafra groups and also find out the truth about the rumour that there was crisis in the leadership of the South-east Council of Traditional Rulers.

He maintained that the protection of the nation’s unity should remain paramount in the minds of all Nigerians, irrespective of their differences.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the South-East council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Ebere Dick, who led other south east traditional rulers, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Eze Agunwa Ohiri, Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Eze Agom Eze, Chairman, Ebonyi State Council of Traditional Rulers, said the meeting was a step towards the right direction, as it would help unite traditional institutions in Nigeria and beyond.

Alleged Mosque Burning: Muslims Urged To Avoid Reprisal Attack

Biafra-protestersThe Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has appealed to Muslims to be patient and not take laws into their hands through retaliatory action over alleged burning of a mosque in Onitsha.

Such action is against the injunction of Allah, the group said.

Briefing reporters on Friday, the Secretary-General of the body, Professor Isiaq Oloyede, pointed out that those responsible for the burning of the mosque in Onitsha could not claim to be fighting for the benefit of the generality of their people by attacking religious houses.

He stressed that no religion supports destruction of religious houses, but also urged Muslims to avoid any act that could ignite religious crisis.

The Secretary-General assured Muslims that the body was on top of the situation and appealed to imams throughout the country to preach peaceful co-existence to foster unity and avoid reprisal attacks on churches.

Professor Oloyede’s statements are aimed at cushioning the rage that an alleged burning of a mosque in Onitsha in Anambra State, south-east Nigeria may have caused.

A group seeking secession from Nigeria and the establishment of a Biafra state  is said to have torched a a mosque in the commercial city in Anambra State.

Nnamdi Kanu Appears In Court   

nnamdi kanuThe leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, has arrived the Abuja Chief Magistrate Court to answer criminal charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

The court had ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce Mr. Kanu unfailingly before it on Monday.

Kanu had earlier failed to appear in court as the prosecution counsel, Mr Moses Idakwo, told the court that the IPOD leader  was not brought to court because of an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to continue the trial, which was already slated for hearing.

Following the absence of the accused person, Magistrate Shuaibu Usman ordered the DSS to produce him on November 23, to enable him identify his legal team.

Mr Nnamdi Kanu is standing trial for alleged criminal conspiracy, managing and belonging to an unlawful society and criminal intimidation contrary to sections 97 and 397 of the penal code.

Kanu was arrested on October 18 by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on his arrival from the United Kingdom.

 

Onitsha King Asks Pro-Biafra Agitators To Stop Protests

BiafraThe paramount ruler of Onitsha in Anambra State, Igwe Alfred Achebe, has condemned the widespread protests by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) calling for the separation of the entire south east region from Nigeria.

King Achebe made the statement on Saturday on the heels of agitations and protests for Biafra nation in some south-east and south-south states.

Protesters have also called for the release of Mr Nnamdi Kanu, the director of Radio Biafra, who has been in detention since last month.

In an interview with Channels Television shortly after his investiture as the Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Igwe Achebe told the protesters to shelve the idea of seceding from the rest of Nigeria, as such agitation would only amount to violating the Nigerian Constitution and principles of democracy.

An Indivisible Country

Emphasising that Nigeria still remains a united and indivisible country, the traditional ruler reminded the pro-Biafra agitators of the inherent dangers involved in their action.

He advised them to channel all their grievances to their elected representatives in the National Assembly for consideration, instead of embarking on violent protests that could result into break down of law and order in the region.

Igwe Achebe while noting that Nigerians have remained united since independence, irrespective of the numerous challenges, expressed regret over the renewed agitation for a Biafran State.

“Such violent protests in the name of Biafra will not solve the various economic and social problems confronting the south-east zone or add any value to the development and progress of the entire country,” he said.

According to him, the south-east remains an integral part of Nigeria and the leaders from the area so much believe in the unity of the country and would always work towards sustaining such bond.

Biafra Protest: Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial Stalled

nnamdi kanuThe trial of the leader of the indigenous people of Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, has been stalled, following the failure of the Department of State Service (DSS) to produce him in court.

At the resumed hearing of the case at a Magistrate Court in Abuja, two sets of lawyers, who claimed to be representing Mr. Kanu announced appearance.

One of the lawyers, Mr. Vincent Obete, told the court that he was briefed by the famly of Nnamdi Kanu to represent him, while the second lawyer, Mr. Gabriel Egbule, said he was personally briefed by Nnamdi Kanu on October 19, when he was arraigned before the court.

Following the absence of the accused person, Magistrate Shuaibu Usman ordered the DSS to produce him on November 23, to enable him identify his legal team.

Mr Kanu is standing trial for alleged criminal conspiracy, managing and belonging to an unlawful society and criminal intimidation contrary to sections 97 and 397 of the penal code.

Police Deny Arrest Of 125 Pro-Biafra Protesters In Delta

policeThe Police have denied the arrest of 125 persons in Asaba, Delta State, marching for the actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.

Earlier report says 125 persons were arrested in the south-south Nigerian state during a one-million-man march that has caused untold hardship for travellers. But police said it had not made any arrest.

The agitations by the indigenous people of Biafra have been on since last Friday. The first demonstrations were recorded in Imo State.

One-Million-Man March

Throughout the night, about 10,000 members of the group laid siege at the major fly-over bridge in Enugu.

Report says that the group marched through the major streets at night before going back to their various locations, defiling an earlier warning by the police not to hold the march.

On Friday, The Nigeria Police Force issued a warning against the one-million-man march, saying the protesters, from the south-eastern region, would be provoking the law if they do not stop such protests or call.

Gowon Dismisses Potential Biafran Threat

GowonMeanwhile, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has dismissed any potential threat to Nigeria’s unity as a result of the activities of some pro-Biafra group.

General Gowon, who noted that Nigerians have put behind them the ugly memories of the 1967 civil war, pointed out that those behind the protests were youths who have no idea what the war cost Nigerians.

The elder statesman was speaking in Lafia, the Nasarwa State capital shortly after a malaria eradication campaign visit to Governor Tanko Al-Makura.

He expressed confidence that the campaign was being driven by just a few people and that majority of the Igbo people do not share the view.

While admitting that they protesters had the right to express their feelings he stated “with Biafra it is finished”.

MASSOB Demands Sack Of INEC Chairman

Movement foMASSOBr the Actualisation of the Sovereign State Of Biafra (MASSOB) has held a peaceful protest in Umuahia, Abia State capital, demanding for the removal of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The group claims Professor Atahiru Jega is bias and partisanship in the forthcoming 2015 elections.

The Biafran activists numbering about 1,000, marched through major streets in Umuahia, chanting pro-Biafran songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions.

“Jega must go” and “We the neighbouring ‘State of Biafra’ want to help our brothers in Nigeria,” were some of the inscriptions on the placards.

They said that they want the INEC Boss removed because of his alleged secret parley with the north to conduct the Presidential poll in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari ( Rtd) and work against the electoral fortunes of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The MASSOB group insisted that they were part of Nigeria, and would not close their eyes to any form of injustice or foul play, especially as it concerns the 2015 election.

They urged the Igbos to return home before the elections to avoid becoming the targets of post election violence.

Meanwhile, political candidates in differents states have signed peace accord, pledging to maintain peace before, during and after the elections.

MASSOB Members’ Arrest: Leader Says Provocation Won’t Distract Course

MASSOB-logoThe leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ralph Uwazuruike, has said that no amount of intimidation, provocation or arrest of its members can stop the group from the pursuit and actualisation their vision of a sovereign state of Biafra, no matter how long it takes.

Speaking to Channels Television’s Imo State correspondent on the recent arrest of 26 members of the group in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State by the Army, he said that for over 16 years, the MASSOB had remained a non-violent and non-terrorist group, whose conduct has not in any way caused chaos or trouble in the South East.

He described the arrest of its members by the Nigerian Army as childish and uncalled for, just because they were seen in the Biafran uniforms.

He said that the arrest was illegal because they were not found in any form of misconduct but were arrested on their way to Okigwe town where they accompanied him on an award ceremony in his honor.

Meanwhile, the Commander, 34 Brigade Artillery, Obinze, Brigadier-General Lanre Bello, who spoke to our Imo State correspondent on the phone, confirmed that 26 members of the MASSOB were indeed arrested on their way to Okigwe Local Government Area of the state in full regalia of the Biafra uniforms.

He said that in order not to cause breach of peace in the state, they were arrested when his men noticed some disposition which was not clearly defined.

Igbo Excellence Awards Berths In Lagos

Igbo indigenes in Nigeria and overseas are welcoming the entry of the Igbo Excellence Awards, IEA, an annual cultural and social contemporary event, which will berth on Saturday, 1 February, 2014.

With developing the culture and people as a key value, IEA according to the organisers will celebrate and honour Igbo individuals, businesses, and corporate organisations with outstanding contributions towards sustaining and developing the essence, pride and image of the Igbo culture as well as the country Nigeria across the world.

The award initiator, Prince Onyekachukwu David, said: “our vision for the IEA is to be a global brand recognized for its genuine commitment to promoting the socio-economic and cultural values of Ndi Igbo through-out the world. We are poised to drive this vision to accomplishment by focusing a lot on the Igbo youths, with awards categories that allow young people to compete fairly for exposure and recognition.”

According to the organizers, Tobems Media Limited, the maiden edition of the awards ceremony will hold in Lagos. They claimed that the choice of a neutral venue is to emphasize the credibility of the awards and its determination to reach out to all Ndi Igbo simultaneously irrespective of their states, cultural, and political differences. They assured that subsequent editions will be hosted in different eastern states of the federation.

“We believe that starting with a successful execution of this forthcoming maiden edition, we would have started a journey towards accomplishing our vision within the next 5 years.” David said.

According to Tobems Media’s Principal Consultant, Mr. Obembe, “Ours is made up of a team of young Nigerians who have dedicated time and energy in research and consultation with Igbo elders and culture custodians to design the awards.

“We are glad to give Ndi Igbo something that will last a lifetime. This is more than just an award, it is a validation for our true heroes, and being a winner in any category is something to cherish”.

The #IgboExcellenceAwards which was formally presented to the Nigerian online community on Tuesday, December 3, is already generating heavy buzz and trending on social media as it was well received by many, especially the Igbo ethnic group from South-Eastern Nigeria.