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#11 by chuks
Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:57 pm
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The Federal Government on Thursday failed to arraign 12 members of the Biafra Zionist Federation, who were charged with treason before the Federal High Court, Enugu.
The accused persons are the leader of the BZF, Benjamin Onwuka; Kelvin Eke, Samson Ijaga, Uduma Uduma, Bethrain Obiekwe, Abraham Ugwu, Paulinus Uzoegbu, Fidelis Nwaano, Nnamchi Ndubuisi, Michael Olennya, Jeophet Nwaodo and Aloysius Chukwuma.
The suspects were arrested after they allegedly invaded the studio of the Enugu State Broadcasting Service in an unsuccessful bid to declare the secession of the Republic of Biafra on June 5.
Two people died during the incident, including a policeman.
The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation had filed charges against the accused persons on behalf of the Federal Government.
Though our correspondent learnt that the suspects were brought to Enugu from Abuja, where they had been detained since their arrest, the alleged secessionists were however not produced in court for their scheduled arraignment.
The AGF, who filed the charge against the accused persons, was also not represented in court.
Addressing the court, counsel for the Zionists, Olu Omotayo, who is also the South-East Zonal Director of the Civil Liberties Organisation, expressed reservations at the absence of the AGF.
He said, "I am surprised that despite the fact that the 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 adjourned date, if they (Federal Government) fail to bring them (the alleged secessionists), we will ask that the matter be struck out."
Omotayo accused the Federal Government of deliberately delaying the matter in order to frustrate a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the suspects.
"This is a ploy to frustrate our fundamental human rights matter. We are asking that they should be brought to court or they should be released but they now filed the charge to frustrate our matter that is coming up next week," he added.
After hearing the submissions of the defence counsel, the presiding judge, Justice D. V. Agishi, adjourned the matter to November 19.
Speaking with journalists outside the courtroom, National Chairman of the BZF, Mr. Cyril Onyia, expressed concerns that the alleged secessionists had been in detention for over four months without trial.

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#77 by Dikebiafra
Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:52 am
Biafra Secessionists Arraigned Over Treason, Remanded

An Enugu Federal High Court on Wednesday remanded 12 members of the Biafra Zionist Federation, a pro-Biafra secession group, in prison after the Federal Government arraigned them for treason.

The secessionists, led by Benjamin Onwuka, have been in police custody since their arrest on June 5, when they invaded the studio of the Enugu State Broadcasting Service radio house in an unsuccessful bid to declare the secession of the Republic of Biafra.

Other members of the BZF, arraigned alongside Onwuka, are Kelvin Eke, Samson Ijaga, Uduma Uduma, Bethrain Obiekwe, Abraham Ugwu, Paulinus Uzoegbu, Fidelis Nwaano, Nnamchi Ndubuisi, Michael Olennya, Jeophet Nwaodo and Aloysius Chukwuma.

The Federal Government informed the court that the secessionists forced the radio station to air Biafran jingles and speeches of the late leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Odumegwu Ojukwu, and also attempted to make a live broadcast for the secession of Biafra from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Two persons – a member of the BZF and a policeman – died during the June 5 invasion of the ESBS and the Enugu State police command had accused the secessionists of killing the police officer.

But, curiously, murder was not included in the four counts brought against the pro-Biafra activists, who had insisted from the outset that they were not responsible for the death of the policeman.

Their own version of events was that the dead policeman was a victim of friendly fire – an unintended target of shots fired by a fellow policeman.

The 12 secessionists, mostly middle-aged men, pleaded not guilty to the charges read to them by a court clerk, who alternated between Igbo and English languages.

In count one, they were accused of converging at Nike Grammar School, Enugu, on June 4, to conspire to arm themselves with dangerous weapons with intent to capture the Enugu State Broadcasting Service Radio House and make a live broadcast for the secession of Biafra as a nation, an offence contrary to section 37(2) of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

In count two, they were accused of, on or about the March 8, 2014, in Enugu, committed an illegal act with intent to intimidate and overawe the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, and the Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, by hoisting the flags of the Republic of Biafra and state of Israel at the main gate of the Enugu State Government House, an offence contrary to section (37)(1)(2) of the Criminal Code Act LFN 2004.

The secessionists were, in count three, accused of, on or about June 5, arming themselves with dangerous weapons, and with intent to secede and make a live broadcast for secession of Biafra as a nation, attacking ESBS radio house and forced the staff on duty to play on air a compact disc containing Biafra jingles and speeches of the late Ojukwu “with a view to secure or procure unintentionally the restoration of Biafran nation and to overawe the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,” an “offence of treason contrary to section 37(1) of the Criminal Code Act, LFN, 2004.

In count four, the leader of the BZF, Onwuka, was accused of creating a website for the group and posting inciting publications with intent to incite and solicit support from members of the public to intimidate and overawe President Goodluck Jonathan, an offence contrary to section 37(1)(2) of the Criminal Code Act LFN 2004.

Following the ‘not guilty’ plea entered by the accused persons, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. D. E. Kaswe, asked the court to set a date for the commencement of trial.

The lawyer of the BZF, Mr. Olu Omotayo, the South East Zonal Director of the Civil Liberties Organisation, did not object to the request.

But he asked the court to set a short date, noting that the accused persons had been in detention for a long time.
The presiding judge, Justice D. V. Agishi, fixed December 8 for the trial.

Punch. 19-11-2014
#120 by Emeka Ezeh
Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:42 am
The question is: Why did the Igbo lawyers desert them at this important time?

I learnt that they did hijack the radio station. They only asked the young lady at ESBS for her boss and she deceitfully raised alarm because she heard them mention Biafra. They were kept waiting while the lady in question called the police instead of her boss.

Remember that they had no arms. There is nothing wrong in asking for the boss. They would have been trying to get a slot for their program.
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