Pro-Biafra Group Protests Again In Asaba

Biafra groupThe Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Monday in Asaba, south-south Nigeria, staged another protest, calling for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, whom they claim is the leader of the group.

Protesters in the hundreds gathered in the early hours of the morning, chanting songs in solidarity with the IPOB.

During the protest, the Biafra supporters stormed the Asaba-Benin expressway, blocking one part of the road for several hours from the Federal Road Safety Corp junction through Summit Junction in Asaba the capital of Delta State.

The mass protest forced many transporters to make a U-turn, diverting into Asaba main town, thereby causing a gridlock with the state capital.

However, Police patrol teams were spotted controlling vehicular movement to ensure the protest does not in any way hinder free flow of traffic in the area.

Mr Kanu is still in the custody of the Department of State Services, after a three count charge of criminal conspiracy, intimidation and belonging to an unlawful society was brought against him.

His prosecutor had withdrawn the charges, with a Federal High Court in Abuja granting him bail on December 17.

But he has not been released.

Pro-Biafra Leader Refuses To Take Plea In Court

Nnamdi KanuThe leader of a pro-Biafra group in Nigeria, Ingenious People Of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, has refused to take plea in court, protesting his trial before Justice Mohammed Ahmed of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Kanu, who is the founder of a pirate radio, Radio Biafra, refused to take plea on a six-count charge bordering on treason, importation of illegal goods and possession of fire arms filed against him by the Department of State Services (DSS) on the ground that he would not get fair trial.

Lack Of Confidence In The process

The pro-Biafra leader, standing trial with two others, told the court that he lacked confidence in the court because information available to him indicated that he would not get a fair trial.

“I will not sacrifice due process of the law founded on the principles of natural justice on the altar of speedy release from detention,” Mr Kanu said.

A week after a Federal High Court granted him bail, Mr Kanu, the leader of the IPOB, who remains in the custody of the DSS, was brought to court.

Shortly after his arrival, Mr Kanu and his co-accused were docked, but his trial could not commence, as he protested his arraignment before Justice Ahmed, opting to remain in detention, even after a court had earlier granted him bail.

Reacting to Mr Kanu’s protest the Director of Public Prosecution Mr Mohammed Diri, asked the court to discountenance the objection on the ground that the accused person ought to come before the court with a proper application.

He argued that such a protest could only be made after an accused person had taken his plea.

In a short ruling, Justice Ahmed agreed with the accused person’s protest, especially as it borders on the issue of confidence in a judicial process.

Justice Mohammed said that since the confidence of the court had been questioned he would return the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for further action.

Shortly after the proceedings, however, Mr Kanu got into an altercation with some officials of the DSS for denying him an opportunity to speak with his lawyer.

Counsel to Mr Kanu, Mr Vincent Obetta hinted that he would continue to pursue the release of his client on the orders of the court.

He had on Tuesday decried the continued detention of his client by the DSS even after a Federal High Court had granted him bail.

For now Mr Kanu and other accused persons will have to wait for the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign his case to another Judge.

Conflicting Death Figures Trail Pro-Biafra Police Clash

Biafra-protestersConflicting death toll trails the violence that erupted after pro-Biafra protesters clashed with security operatives at the bridge head axis of Onitsha, Anambra State.

Some accounts say between nine and thirteen people died in the protest, the Nigerian police say only one person, a policeman lost his life in the clash.

Other accounts allege that the JTF comprising the Army, Navy, Police and Civil Defence troops opened fire at protesting members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, (IPOB), and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, (MASSOB) which killed about nine people and injured 18.

Traffic flow has however resumed after over twelve hours gridlock occasioned by agitating members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB).

 

Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial Stalled

nnamdi kanuThe trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra, suffered another setback at the Wuse Magistrate Court in Abuja due to the absence of the judge.



Counsel to the accused person, Mr Dim Udebuani told journalists that the court registrar confirmed that the magistrate is bereaved and would not be able to proceed with the ruling on the application filed by the prosecutor, the Department of State Service (DSS) to transfer the case to the Federal High Court.

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

The prosecutor had challenged the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Court to hear the matter in an earlier application, requesting for the transfer of the case to the Federal High Court.

Magistrate Shuaibu Usman, after listening to arguments for and against the application for discontinuance, adjourned the case till December 1, 2015 for ruling.

DSS Seeks Withdrawal Of Case Against Nnamdi Kanu

DSS Seeks Withdrawal Of Case Against KanuThe Department of State Service (DSS), has filed an application before a Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja seeking to withdraw the case of criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation preferred against the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the prosecutor told the court that the DSS had uncovered fresh facts against the accused person who is also being tried for unlawfully belonging to an illegal society.

He added that the ‎facts against the accused person requires further investigation.

Lawyer to the accused person, however, opposed the application on the ground that the State Service had refused to comply with the order of the court granting the accused person bail since October 19, 2015.

He further prayed the court to order the DSS to transfer the accused person to prison custody for easy access by his lawyers.

Magistrate Shuaibu Usman, after listening to arguments for and against the application for discontinuance, adjourned the case till December 1, 2015 for ruling.

The leader of the IPOB arrived the Abuja Chief Magistrate Court to answer criminal charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

The court had ordered the DSS to produce Mr Kanu unfailingly before it on Monday.

Obi Of Onitsha Condemns Protests By Pro-Biafra Agitators

Obi of Onitsha Condemns Protests By pro-Biafra AgitatorsThe paramount ruler and Obi of Onitsha in Anambra State, Igwe Alfred Achebe, has condemned the widespread protests by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who are calling for the separation of the entire south-east region from Nigeria.

The condemnation came on the heels of agitations and protests for Biafra nation across parts of the country, especially as the protesters clamoured for the release of the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, who had been in detention since October.

Speaking in an interview shortly after his inauguration as the Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Igwe Achebe told the protesters to shelve the idea of secession from the rest of Nigeria.

He said that such agitation would only amount to violating the constitution of the country and the principles of democracy.

The traditional ruler reminded the pro Biafra agitators of the inherent dangers involved in their action, emphasising that Nigeria remained a united and indivisible country irrespective of the numerous challenges.

He urged them to channel all their grievances to their elected representatives in the National Assembly for consideration, rather than embarking on violent protests that could result into breakdown of law and order in the region.

The new Chancellor also expressed regret over the renewed agitation for a Biafran state, stressing that such protests in the name of Biafra would 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.

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

Pro-Biafra Supporters Protest In Rivers

BiafraIt was total lock down on Tuesday at the Eleme axis of Rivers State as pro-Biafra supporters staged a protest in solidarity with the Biafra Radio host, Nnamdi Kalu, who has been detained by the DSS.

The protesters who stormed the streets in their hundreds were, however, prevented by security agents from proceeding to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Although the protesters appeared resolute to continue their march, security operatives managed to maintain the barricade, causing many commuters to resort to trekking long distances as a result of the gridlock caused by the face-off.

Some of the protesters told Channels Television that they would not back down from pursuing the freedom of the one they call their leader.

They called on the federal government to heed their cry and that of other pro-Biafran supporters for self-determination.

Police Boss Warns Pro-Biafra Protesters Again

MASSOB-IPOB-Demonstrate-for-BiafraThe Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, says enough is enough for the youths from the eastern part of Nigeria parading themselves as promoters of Biafra.

The IGP, who spoke to Channels Television earlier on Sunday, cautioned the youths against obstructing the peace of the land.

His warning is coming against the backdrop of massive protests for the actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra in Asaba, the Delta State’s capital, Awka, the capital of Anambra State and again in Enugu on Sunday.

Although there were earlier reports on Sunday that 125 pro-Biafra protesters were arrested, the police spokesman in Delta State, Celestina Kalu, said nobody was in the custody of the Police Command in Delta State.

It is the second time in two days that the police are issuing a warning to the group.

On Friday  the Nigeria Police Force issued a warning to the youths calling for the recognition of the Indigenous People of Biafra, saying that their “planned one-million-man march is illegal”.

In a strongly-worded statement, Mr Arase said that 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”.

Police Warn Pro-Biafran Groups To Cease Operations

MASSOB and IPOB Demonstrate for BiaraPolice have warned two pro-Biafran groups in Anambra State to cease operations or face arrest.

The police said the warning was issued to check the rampage of the members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in various parts of Anambra state.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hassan Karma, issued the warning on Friday, insisting that the groups have been banned by the State government.

MASSOB-IPOB-Demonstrate-for-Biafra
Members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra and the Indigenous People of Biafra demonstrate with different placards

Narrating the activities of the group, Mr Karma said they had staged a protest and blocked the Federal Highway and also held a priest hostage and demanded prayers.

“The government has made it very clear that the activities of IPOB and MASSOB is banned in Anambra.

“Traditional rulers have come out and disassociated themselves from it. They said that they were alive and witnessed the Biafran war and know how it affected them. They said that today, we have a country, nobody should create problem for anyone at all,” Mr Karma, said, quoting the traditional rulers.

He stressed that no one should be allowed to hide under any guise to perpetrate crime in Anambra State.

“Anybody who insists on committing crime, whatever name the person has, will be definitely arrested. Our men are all out to see to the arrest and prosecution of such individuals,” the police commissioner said.

Police Arrest 43 MASSOB Members In Anambra

massobForty-three persons suspected to be members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) have been arrested by the State Joint Security Operations and paraded at the Headquarters of Anambra State Police Command in Awka.

The suspects who have been arrested in Nnewi and Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state are said to be on a mission to wreak havoc, but intelligence report filters helped the police.

Twenty-eight of them were arrested at Nnewi where they attacked a Police patrol team while 15 were nabbed at Okpoko, a territory that could be referred to as their stronghold.

Items found on them included MASSOB ID card, tellers used for payment into the group’s account and charms.

Some of the suspects who did not deny their involvement with the group, said they went for thanksgiving to mark the 16th year of existence of MASSOB.

Speaking on the development, the Special Adviser to Anambra State Governor, Chikodi Anara, reiterated the readiness of the state to stamp out any form of criminal activity by any group that would hold the people of the state to ransom.

Though the suspects were arrested, they still maintained that they are a non-violent group that are only committed to the cause of the Igbo nation, maintaining that ‘no matter what happens, Biafra is like a sun that cannot go dim’.

However, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hassan Karma, said the Joint Security Operations will stop at nothing to ensure that the state is safe for its citizenry, while surveillance operations aimed at supporting what the state government wants to achieve for the state, in terms of security, will continue.