Eight persons including a female, alleged to be supporters of the Movement for Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), involved in protest that grounded the streets of Port Harcourt were today arraigned by the police before a Chief Magistrate's Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
The accused persons were: Benedict Egine (55), Uchenna Emenike (25), Chukwunonso Nwaolisa (36), Obilor Onyemachukwu (29), Ogbonna Godwin (31), Wilson Ezeka (42) and female, Destiny Amuchechukwu (19).
They were arraigned before Chief Magistrate B.M.F Jamabo of Magistrate Court Port Harcourt.
The 55 years old Benedict Egine was arraigned separately on charges of conspiracy and breach of public peace on Charge No: PMC/1357c/2015. Others were also arraigned on similar charges on Charge No: PMC/1357c/2015.
Accused persons, on count one, were said to have conspired to "levy war against the federal government", thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 37 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Law of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.
On count two, they were accused of unlawfully demonstrating and chanting "war songs" and the need for a Biafra nation, which caused panic in the neighbourhood.
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The offence is punishable under Section 37 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Law of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.
Shortly after the arraignment, counsel and elder brother to Egine, Chief Patrick Egine, wondered why his brother was the only person police could arrest, after the prosecution told the court that they were over-powered by the protesters.
The trial Chief Magistrate, B.M.F Jamabo, declined to treat the matter on grounds of lack of jurisdiction.
He referred the matter to the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice and ordered that the accused persons should be remanded in prison custody pending the outcome of the advice.
The matter was adjourned till , this year, for mention.
It will be recalled that pro-Biafra supporters has been protesting against Kanu’s detention in Rivers, Anambra, Enugu and Delta states.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian army has warned agitators clamouring for the state of Biafra that the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them.