Twenty six suspected members of both Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) who were arrested on Monday have been arraigned in court for trial.
Recall that members of IPOB and MASSOB were arrested in different parts of Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia State when the two groups clashed with security agencies during the protest that not only crippled economic and social activities in Aba, but also led to the death and injuring of many including innocent residents who were hit by expended stray live ammunition from soldiers firearm.
They were arrested in different parts of the commercial city The State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO; DSP Ezekiel Onyeke Udeviotu in a telephone interview on Wednesday told our correspondent that the IPOB and MASSOB members were arraigned before a magistrate court sitting in Umuahia, the state capital.
According to him, they were arraigned on a three count of, (i) conspiracy to commit felony to wit being members of unlawful society (ii) Belonging to MASSOB/IPOB which is an unlawful society and (iii) Having in possession/under their control cutlasses, MASSOB/IPOB flags I.D cards, mufflers, T-shirts among other insigmas.
The state PPRO though could not immediately state their bail conditions, further disclosed that five out of the twenty six IPOB and MASSOB members met their bail conditions while others were remanded in prison custody until they meet their bail conditions.
However, residents of Aba have condemned in strong terms the use of live ammunition on the protesters by soldiers while trying to stop them from taking to the streets.
According some of them including Mr. Ignatius Okoro, “as much as we are not in support of the protest because of the negative effect it has on our businesses, we want to say that use of live firearms on armless protesters is condemnable and can only be used in a clime like ours. We used to see where in Europe they use hot water or even rubber bullet in worst cases and not live firearms as it was the case on Monday. It is high time army authority calls for probe over the involvement and activities of their officers in the protest on Monday and we want to call on civil societies in the country to rise up and question the army on why they should use such a dangerous weapon on the protesters.”