By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA— CONCERNED youths in Bayelsa State, yesterday, took to the streets of Yenagoa, the state capital, describing as unjust and misplaced, the life imprisonment passed on Mr. Edmund Ebiware by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, in connection with the October 1, 2010 Independence Day bomb blasts and called for his release.
Ebiware, a father of two, was arrested and charged for accessory to the blast which claimed 12 lives. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment with effect from October 3, 2010, sometime in January 2013.
Also, the 70-year-old mother of Ebiware, his wife, Ifie and two kids pleaded with President Mohammadu Buhari to wade into the matter describing the ordeal of their breadwinner as politically motivated.
The youths, under the aegis of #Free Edmund Ebiware:Concerned Nigerians, led by Miebi Bribena, former governorship candidate of defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Prince Ebitimi Amgbare, former member of the House of Representatives, Bolus Ndiamaowei and other Ijaw activists, marched through the busy Azikoro Road and back to the Nigeria Union of Journalists secretariat singing solidarity songs in support of Ebiware.
The protesters were armed with placards bearing inscriptions.
Ebiware, according to the protesters, was unfairly treated and deserved to be set free since the same court that convicted him recently dismissed the treason charge brought against Charles Okah, the alleged mastermind of the October 1, 2010 bombing.
Addressing the protesters, Miebi Bribena , who said he visited Ebiware at the Kuje Prison last week pleaded with the Presidential Committee on Prerogative of Mercy to look into his case with a view to correcting the alleged injustice meted to him.
Reliving Ebiware’s ordeal, he said “Our brother and friend Edmund Ebiware was arrested and charged as accessory to the October 1, 2010 bombing. He was taken to the DSS cell and put in an underground cell and made to sleep on bare floor. He was even threatened with guns to his head and taken to the cemetery for him to admit he was part of the bombing but Ebiware stood his ground that he was not part of the plot and knew nothing about it. He was arraigned in court and sentenced to life imprisonment for accessory to treason.
“Only last week, the same court that sentenced Ebiware as accessory declared that the alleged Charles Okah that was accused of masterminding the bomb blast is not guilty of treason because the life of the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was not threatened and that he was never at the premises and the treason charge against Okah has been quashed by the same judge.
“How can you be an accessory to nothing? It means that the charge of accessory is null and void. We are grateful to God because Ebiware under the previous government was in solitary confinement.”
He described Ebiware as a law abiding citizen and a Niger Deltan “involved in the process of bringing peace to the Niger Delta through the amnesty peace programme who has been patiently waiting for justice to be served him.”
He called on All Progressives Congress, APC led Federal Government to grant Ebiware pardon so as to enable him reunite with his traumatised wife, children and aged mother.
Also, the 70 year old mother of Ebiware, his wife, Ifie and two kids pleaded with President Mohammadu Buhari to wade into the matter describing the ordeal of their breadwinner as politically motivated.