The Magistrates’ Court sitting in Aba, Abia State has remanded seven suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in prison for the alleged murder of a police officer and possession of dangerous weapons.
The defendants, Chinonso Ude, 30; Maduabuchi Echereodo, 25; Ukochukwu Ikechukwu, 32; Okechukwu Daniel, 20; Ifeanyi Sunday, 33; Okezie Jeremiah, 26; Chizuruoke Nwazuo, 27, and others now at large, were on Monday arraigned on a 12-count charge bothering on murder, possession of dangerous weapons, arson, kidnapping, membership of IPOB and conspiracy.
The charge read in part: “that you Chinonso Ude and others on the 14th day of September, 2017 at Ariaria in Aba North Magisterial District did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: use of offensive weapons or explosives.
“And thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 10 (1) (C) of the Abia State Prohibition of Terrorism, Kidnapping, Hostage Taking, Use of Offensive Weapons or Explosives and other Threatening Behaviour Law No. 10 of 2009.”
The prosecutor, ASP Gabriel Ogbonna, said that on Sept. 15, 2017, they also allegedly conspired and murdered one ASP Cyril Nwosu at Ariaria.
According to the prosecutor, they committed murder, arson, kidnapping, causing breach of peace, burning of vehicles and destruction of property of the police and belonged to IPOB, a proscribed organisation.
Mr. Charles Onuchukwu, counsel to Ude, Echerodo and Okezie, argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear murder, kidnapping and terrorism cases.
He urged the court to delete the three offences and grant his clients bail, but the court opposed the application, stating that the court has powers to direct the action to be taken in the given circumstance.
In his ruling, Magistrate Ogbonna Adiele, ordered the remand of the accused persons in Aba Federal Prison and adjourned the matter until Sept. 27, for ruling.