Court dismisses charge against 44 IPOB members in Bayelsa

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By Samuel Oyadongha

YENAGOA— A Magistrate’s Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday, set free 44 detained members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, upholding the  no case submission on the three-count charge of conspiracy, breach of public peace and unlawful gathering preferred  against them by the Police.

The detained members of IPOB were arrested sometime in October, 2016, while meeting at a popular lounge/bar in the Okaka suburb of Yenagoa by men of the Joint Task Force code named Operation Delta Safe and handed over to the Police for prosecution.

Counsel to the arrested IPOB members, Kingsley Nwosu had argued before the court a no case submission, describing the arrest and trial of the IPOB members as a deliberate attempt to intimidate and violate the fundamental rights of the suspects to freedom of gathering.

Magistrate Penawei Mukoro in her ruling held that all the accused persons have no case to answer as the prosecution was unable to make out a prima-facie case against them.

Nwosu said that the prosecution, the Nigerian Police, had failed to produce a credible witness to substantiate the three count charges against the IPOB members.

He said, “It is a case where there is serious intimidation. And the prosecution could not produce credible witness.”

Delivering ruling, yesterday, trial Magistrate,  Penawei Mukoro struck out the case, upholding the  no case submission and discharge and acquit the accused IPOB members.

Magistrate Penawei Mukoro in her ruling held that all the accused persons have no case to answer as the prosecution was unable to make out a prima-facie case against them.

 



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