Full Report: Nigeria Begins Trial Of Mother And Infant Child, 27 Other Biafrans For Treason
By Nwabueze Hope Ikenna & Paul Ihechi Alagba
Reporting for Family Writers
7th December 2016
I was so dismayed during the course of the proceedings, seeing the members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who were arrested since November 2015, just because they protested against the illegal detention of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Director of Radio Biafra / Biafra Television, citizen Nnamdi Kanu who was abducted by Nigerian security agents on the order of president Muhammadu Buhari on October 14, 2015. Nnamdi Kanu has since been incarcerated for exercising his right to freedom of speech and self determination, which is enshrined in United Nation Charter 2007 that gives every Indigenous people the right to self-determination and, of which Nigeria is a signatory to.
28 Biafra activists who protested against illegal detention of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu yesterday December 6, appeared at Federal High Court Port Harcourt Igweocha, Biafra land. Another set of activists will be appearing in court on 8th December 2016.
The Biafra activists were charged with treason after their arrest for over a year now.
Among the victims of the clamp down ordered by Nigeria president, Muhammadu Buhari, is a mother (Florence Ugozi) and her infant child who appeared at the Port-Harcourt Federal High court was also detained for demanding the unconditional release of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). She has been held at the Port-Harcourt maximum prison unjustly with her son.
I watched the innocent child crying for justice for her mother but to no avail. The case was adjourned till February 6,7 and 8 2017 for a bail condition.
Below is an Interview with the Lawyer representing the case of our people at Igweocha Biafra Land
Family Writers: Please sir, give us the updates on the event that took place lately between IPOB members and the Nigerian government during the proceedings of the court.
Lawyer: My Name is Barrister Onyemaechi Mba, one of the counsels advocating for the release of persons arraigned in different court in Rivers State Biafra land. Therefore, far by the special grace of Chukwu Okike Abiama (the supreme creator of the universe) we have been doing the much we can to ensure that we released them on bail and try as much as possible to put forward a strong legal representation for them. So, our efforts has yearned quite a tremendous result, last time 24 of them who were released were dancing around in joy.
Family Writers: What is the success of today's court proceedings?
Barrister Onyemaechi Mba: Well, we can still say we have quite a good result there, although in the matter standing before the Honorable Justice this morning, he could not go on because the prosecutor was not ready to push the matter forward. Reason being that most of their witnesses consisting with the members of the Nigeria police force are involved in the forth-coming rerun election in Rivers State and at such they are all engaged in training and all that. Therefore, to that extent, the court did not accommodate us this morning but for those that are pending before Honorable Justice Agumoh in court three (3) federal high courts here. Most of them are already on bail through our efforts but the bail condition given by the court appeared to be hard. So, what we decided to do was to bring motion for variation of bail condition to reduce the condition imposed for their bail by the court to something that will be deformed; and graciously the court has granted those variations even before today. Then today 6th December 2016, the court has granted more of such. So, the terms have been reduced, meaning that any time from now, a good number of them will be released on bail. So, it is a major landmark.
Family Writers: We are grateful for your good works with your team to make sure you get justice from the court. Sir, can you give us the exact number of IPOB members in prison custody?
Barrister Onyemaechi Mba Lawyer: Well, that has been an issue and a contentious one for us to get the figure representing the total numbers of persons held in prison in Igweocha (Port Harcourt) here. Nevertheless, we have tried our possible best to get at the number but to no avail. Not good to parade the number at the end of the day it would not represent the actual situation ground. Almost every day will run into new persons there, who are also held. Therefore, for now I do not think we can categorically say this is the numbers of persons held, but to be very frank, apart from those that have been released; we still have close to 100 persons that we can say are still in prison custody.
The ones present in the court, we have about 20 of them in Honorable justice Agumoh's court standing a single charge. All of them were sent to court. On justice Kwaderi, we have 8 persons but most of them are on bail. Meaning some of them is coming from their houses to answer the bail. It is only about 15 of them or equal length that are yet to perfect their bail. Meaning they are coming from prison to the court.
Family Writers: When is the adjourned date for the continuation of the case?
Barrister Onyemaechi Mba: The case before Honorable Justice Agumoh was adjourned to February 7, 8 and 9 2017. Then the one in Justice Kwaderi's court, March 8 and 9 2017. In addition, we actually applied for multiple dates so as to make sure the matter is ended. Therefore, the court gave us many dates and warned the persecutor to be ready for the case.
The Biafra Herald