A Magistrate Court in Ebonyi State on Wednesday granted bail to 88 members of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) arrested by the state’s police command during Monday’s celebration of the defunct Biafra republic’s anniversary.
Amid massive pro-Biafra protests across the South-East and occasional bursts of violence, the police reportedly stormed Nkaliki primary School in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, venue of an inter-denominational service by the group and arrested many members mid-way into a prayer session to commemorate the Biafra day, Premium Times reports.
A total of eighty eight people were arraigned before an Abakaliki Magistrate court Wednesday on a four-count charge of conspiracy, belonging to an unlawful society, membership of unlawful group and possession of items calling for the declaration of Biafra. They all pleaded not guilty after the charges were read to them.
Jerry Ezenyi, counsel to the accused persons made application for their bail in his argument, claiming their offence was bailable, though prosecution counsel, Adeola Elumaru, opposed the bail application on the grounds that the accused persons had been arrested in the past for the same offence.
The trial Magistrate, Stella Ogoke, granted the accused persons bail with N500,000 and seven sureties who must be within the magisterial jurisdiction.
The case has been adjourned to July 18, 2016.