Law News
Biafra Zionists battle for bail, withdraw N10m civil suit against FG

ELEVEN members of pro-Biafra group, Biafra Zionists Federation, BZF, led by Mr. Benjamin Onwuka, yesterday, formally withdrew the N10 million suit against the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police, over alleged illegal arrest and detention on grounds that it had been overtaken by event.

The arrested Biafra Zionists Federation, BZF, members on parade.

They, however, applied for bail through their counsel, Mr. Olu Omotayo. But when the case came up yesterday for hearing before a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, their bail application could not be moved following a counter-application by the prosecution.

Zonal Legal Officer, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. E. Nwaokoro, who appeared for prosecution, told the court he had been briefed by his superior in Abuja to ask for a date in January for the hearing of the bail application.

Defence counsel, Omotayo objected, saying “My Lord, we have not been served the counter-application, but notwithstanding, we ask for a short date.

“We want to move the application by tomorrow. The accused have been detained for a long time. This is a ploy to delay the matter.”

Trail judge, Justice D. Agishi consequently adjourned hearing on the bail application till December 18.

Omotayo later told reporters: “We decided to withdraw the N10 million civil suit because it had been overtaken by event. We filed it because they were detained without trial. So now that they have been arraigned for trial, there is no need for it. We withdrew it to enable us face the criminal charge squarely.”

Accused, offence

Standing trial are Benjamin Onwuka, Ndubisi Nnamushi, Kelvin Ekeh, Japhet Nwodo and Fidelis Nwonu. Others are Paulinus Uzoegbu, Sunday Chukwuma, Uduma Uduma, Bertrand Obiekwe, Abraham Ugwu and Ijaga Samson.

The accused were said to have, on June 4 at Nike Grammar School, Enugu, conspired and unlawfully armed themselves with dangerous weapons with intent to capture the Enugu State Broadcasting Service, ESBS, Radio House and make a live broadcast for secession of Biafra as a nation, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 37 (2) of the Criminal Code Act LFN 2004 and punishable under the same section of the same Act.

 

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