The Police on Friday arraigned 15 persons at the Enugu Magistrate’s Court for alleged membership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The accused persons are – Aloysius Okonkwo (67), John Ebuka (18), Ucheme Ebuka (19), Lilian Chizoba (42), Maureen Echetanze (63), Eucharia Otu (40), Ngozi Emmanuel (44) and Cletus Duruoha (55).
Others are – Chibuzor Abara (64), Chijoke Nwankwo (43), Monday Azita (28), Ikechukwu Ani (55), Benedict Onunze (58) and Chinonso Ugwu (35).and Ndubuisi Nnamani (55).
They were arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy, treasonable felony, and belonging to the proscribed and unlawful organization – IPOB – as well as possession of Biafra materials.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read out to them.
Magistrate A.C. Mbah, who did not take the defendants’ plea, remanded them at the correctional facility pending advice from the state’s Director of Public Prosecution.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Ajokwu, told the court that the defendants and others still at large conspired and committed a treasonable felony on May 29 at Emene, Enugu East Council Area.
He said they participated in activities of Biafra to dethrone the Federal Government of Nigeria and install a Biafra government.
Ajokwu said the defendants were members of the proscribed IPOB, adding that Biafra insignia including banners, bangles, and flags were found on them.
The defendants’ actions, according to the prosecutor, are punishable under the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (2004) and applicable in Enugu State.