From: Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
About forty-four members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were set free, on Tuesday, by a Yenagoa Magistrate Court.
The detained IPOB members were arrested in October 2016 by men of the Joint Military Task Force code named Operation Delta Safe during their meeting at Okaka Area of the state capital and handed to the Police authorities for prosecution.
The accused were charged to Court by the Police on three count charges bordering on Conspiracy, Beach of Public Peace and Unlawful gathering.
According to the court, the case against the detained 44 IPOB members had a no case submission. They were subsequently discharge and acquitted.
Delivering ruling on the case of three count charges against them, Presiding Magistrate, Magistrate Penawei Mukoro, before striking out case, declared that the prosecution was unable to establish a prima-facie case against them.
Counsel to the arrested IPOB members, Barr. Kingsley Nwosu, had argued before the court for 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 people to freedom of gathering.
Nwosu said the prosecution, the Nigerian Police, have failed to produce a credible witness to substantiate the three count charges against the IPOB members.
“It is a case where there is serious intimidation. And the prosecution could not produce credible witness.”