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FG continues with trial of IPOB members without Nnamdi Kanu

 

The Federal Government on Tuesday proceeded with the trial of four members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by filing a fresh three-count charge against them, despite the absence of Nnamdi Kanu, their leader.

The four defendants are Benjamin Madubugwu, Bright Chimeze, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and David Nwawuisi.

The case started with Kanu among the defendants, but it stalled following his disappearance in September 2017 when the Army deployed troops to Umuahia for its ‘Operation Python Dance’.

Shuaibu Labaran, the prosecution lawyer, had successfully asked the court to hear the charge against the other defendants separately.

During the proceedings, Labaran alleged that IPOB members threatened the life of an operative of the State Security Service (SSS) through an online publication containing a picture of the operative taken during the previous sitting.

However, Nnemeka Ejiofor, counsel to one of the defendants asked the court to disregard the allegation, and argued that the alleged publication “does not bear any similarities with a traceable medium”.

Binta Nyako, the presiding judge, warned those in attendance not to take pictures in the courtroom, “otherwise, I shall ban the press”.
“I shall also ban family members; I can do all that,” she added.

All four defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge, and Mrs Nyako adjourned the case till Thursday for further hearing.

In a release on Monday, IPOB had said it would resume a “campaign of civil disobedience on the streets of Biafraland and beyond” if their “brothers” are not granted bail by the Abuja Federal High Court.

“IPOB is calling on Biafrans worldwide to get ready because we must compel Nigerian government to free our brothers, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawusi, Bright Chimezie Ishinwa, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and provide our leader they abducted on the 14th of September 2017,” it said.

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