July 22, 2024

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Breaking : 51 Jewish worshipers arraigned in court, remanded in prison custody 

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Court remands 51 Jewish worshipers  in prison custody

 By Steve Oko
An Umuahia Magistrate Court ll,  Thursday,  ordered that all 51 Jewish worshipers arraigned before it by the police be remanded in prison custody.
The worshipers were arrested Tuesday,  December 11 during a peaceful march around Okpara Square area of the state capital.
Jewish worshipers emerging from Umuahia Magistrate court two after their arraignment Thursday.
One of the Jewish adherents with blood stains on his clothe
Wawa News Global had reported that hundreds of adherents of Judaism staged a peaceful march along Bank Road Umuahia before they were intercepted by the police which arrested scores of them.
They were arraigned on two count charge bordering on terrorism and display of Jewish flags and banners ” which may seriously damage Nigeria’s image “.
The charge sheet marked U/1079C/2018, read in part :” That you Rev. Felix Ibe, … and others,  on the 11th day of December,  2018, at Isi-gate ,by Cooperative Junction,  in Umuahia North Magistrate district, did conspire among yourselves to commit a felony to wit : an act of terrorism,  and thereby committed and offense punishable under section 17 (a) of Terrorism ( Prevention Amendment Act 2013, as applicable to Abia State.
Some of the Jewish adherents emerging from the court room

” That you Rev. Felix Ibe… and others,  on the same date and place in the aforesaid Magisterial district, being members of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra  ( IPOB),  and in furtherance of your act of terrorism moved in procession,  displaying IPOB flags, Jewish flags and banners with inscriptions ” All we need I’d Jewish State of Biafra ” which may seriously damage the image of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,  and thereby,  committed an offense punishable under section 2 (2 a)  of Terrorism,  Prevention) (Amendment),  Act 2013, as applicable in Abia State.”
After the two count charge were read,  the Defense Counsel, Anthony Nwofor, argued that it was an abuse of judicial process for the accused to be arraigned before a court that lackd jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
He said that the police ought to have taken them to the High Court which had right to entertain the suit,  arguing that a federal High Court in Awka handled similar matter and granted all  the accused bail the same day.
The Counsel,  therefore, urged the court to release them and give directives to the Prosecution to arraign them before the appropriate court.
But the  Prosecution Counsel,  Adeyemi Olukoye,  objected to their bail application, insisting that they be remanded in prison custody because of the gravity of their offense.
In his ruling,   Magistrate Idika Udo Kalu , ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody since his court lacked jurisdiction over the matter.
He also ruled that the case file be transferred to the Director of Public Prosecution  (DPP)  for onward movement to the high court.
The Magistrate further ordered the Defense Counsel to approach the high court for the bail application  of the accused while adjourning the matter till January 24, 2019.
 Later in an interview, the Defense Counsel,   Nwofor,  expressed sadness over the decision of the police to arraign the accused before a magistrate court which he said “they knew very well lacked jurisdiction over the matter “.
Defense Counsel, Anthony Nwofor addressing the press
He described the police’s action as a deliberate ploy to punish the accused by keeping them in prison custody unnecessarily.
The Counsel said his clients were only adherents of Judaism on peaceful procession and  not IPOB members contrary to claims by the police .
Nwofor argued that police only wanted to link them with IPOB so they could be punished as terrorists,  describing such behaviour as “an act of wickedness “.
He said he would intensify efforts to secure their bail in a High court before the weekend.
Meanwhile,  the worshipers including men and women one of who had blood stains on his overflowing gown, were whisked away to the prison in five waiting buses.
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email stevemanofgod2000@yahoo.com; wawanewsglobal@gmail.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.
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