Indigenous People of Biafra Not Unlawful Organisation – Court

In what looked like a victory for the Biafra Republic, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Wednesday, struck out allegation of management of unlawful society and five other counts slammed against the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, and three others by the Federal Government.
Counsel to Kanu, Ifeanyi Ejiofor had raised preliminary objection challenging the charge slammed against them..
The counsel had argued that Biafra is not an unlawful organisation. He asserted that Biafra has presence in many countries of the world.
Consequently, the trial Judge, Justice Binta Nyako struck out six of the counts and upheld five.
The court held that the six counts struck did not call for trial due to lack of evidence in the proof of evidence filed by the prosecution.
‎The court further held that six of the 11 charges disclosed no prima facie case and the elements of offences against the defendants.
The struck out counts were 3, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11.
The six counts relates to management of unlawful organisation, intention to manufacture bomb, improper importation of a radio transmitter.
In striking out the count on management of unlawful organisation, the court held that the prosecution had failed to show that IPOB was either unlawful, unregistered or had been proscribed.
Count 3 which was struck out alleged that Kanu and others were managing unlawful society which is punishable under Section 63 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP. C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Count six alleged that one Benjamin Madubugwu who is the third defendant accepted and kept a container housing a radio transmitter known as TRAM‎ 50L, with the knowledge that the said radio transmitter was to be used for radio broadcasts and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 63 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Count 9 alleges that Onwudiwe Chidiebere who is the second defendant and the National Coordinator of IPOB knowingly committed an act preparatory to an act of terrorism by making materials to be used against the Nigerian Security operatives carrying out their unlawful duties.
Other counts left are alleged conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, treasonable felony, publication of defamatory matter, improper importation of goods and illegal possession of fire arms‎.
The Federal Government had filed an 11-count s charge comprising terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods on the defendants.
With the striking out of six of the counts, the defendants are left with five counts hanging against them.
‎Other accused persons charged along with Kanu were the National Coordinator of IPOB member, Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi.
The court later adjourned till March 20 and 21 for continuation of trial.

Author: News Editor

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