Nine members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were on Friday arraigned before a Magistrates’ Court in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The accused persons are Peter Nwodom, 31, Benedict Nworie, 39, John Enyi, 42, and Patrick Onyibe, 35.
Others are Ikechukwu Nweke, 32, James Ovu, 49, Pius Nwagwu, 49, Moses Oke, 30, and Clement Igwe, 29.
The Chief Prosecutor, Insp. Ransom Egenkonye, told the court that the accused persons were allegedly caught, planning to commit felony by “managing” an unlawful society called MASSOB, adding that the group had also caused panic among members of the public with their uniforms.
He said that the offence was punishable under the Criminal Code Cap 33 Vol.1 Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009, and also violated the Ebonyi State Internal Security Enforcement and Related Matters Laws Cap 55 Vol.2.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr Jerry Ezenyi, told the court that the accused were innocent persons who were being prosecuted unjustly, and therefore pleaded that they be released on bail.
The Magistrate, Mr Lazarus Nwokah, however said that the court could not grant bail to the accused persons, as it lacked the jurisdiction to handle the case which he later transferred to the State High Court for further adjudication.