Imo state police command has commenced the prosecution of 107 Igbo youths randomly arrested across the state at various locations by security operatives.
The trial of the suspects which was first held on Tuesday May 28, 2021 at the car park of the Shell Vamp Police Divisional headquarters. Owerri and later shifted to the conference hall of the state Commissioner of Police at the command headquarters Owerri, the state capital on Friday May22, 2021.
The trial of the suspects had three magistrates presiding to include His Worships Kadurumba and Agumadu on seven-count charge marked No/Ow/218c/2021.
The suspects were accused to have conspired among themselves to commit treasonous felony with intention to forcefully remove President Muhammadu Buhari from office unconstitutionally.
They were equally accused of planning to overthrow the government of Senator Hope Uzodinma of Imo state who was constitutionally elected into office.
The suspects were also accused of instigating foreign countries to invade the country (Nigeria), an offence contrary to section 41 and punishable under section 516 of criminal code cap C38 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004as applicable in Imo state.
In another count charge, the suspects were labelled as members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which had taken to arms in order to overthrow President and government of federal Republic of Nigeria as well as government of Imo state alleging that their intention was manifested NY attacking and burning down the Nigeria Police Force state headquarters , Owerri Imo state and the Nigeria Correctional Services, Owerri on April 4,2021 thereby committing felony contrary to and punishable under section 41 of the criminal code Cap C38 laws of the federation Nigeria 2004 as applicable in Imo state.
The suspects were further accused of embarking on hostage taking on March 29, 2021 within Owerri Magisterial district committing an offence punishable under section 6 of the Prohibition act of hostage taking and Related offences Law No.4 of Imo state.
On March 20, 2021, at about 6.29 pm at the divisional police headquarters, Isiala Mbano, the suspects at a gun point a ducted a woman police constable , Esther Njoku and took her to hostage and demanded ransom as a condition to release her her or killed her contrary to section 4 of the Prohibition of Hostage taking and Related offences Law 4 of Imo state 2009.
The suspects were alleged to have armed themselves with dangerous weapons did wilfully and unlawfully set ablaze the Divisional police headquarters at Isiala Mbano committing an offence punishable under section 443(a) of the criminal code Cap C38 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 as applicable in Imo state.
They were further accused of being in possession of hard weeds (India hemp) and cocaine without lawful authority committing an offence punishable under section 11(d) of the National Drugs Law and Enforcement Agency act Cap N30 Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004 as applicable in Imo state.
The presiding Magistrates to include His Worships Kadurumba and Agumadu who opposed the applications for bails by Counsels to the suspects on the grounds that the allegations of treasonable felony and arson were weighty and not bailable therefore remanded those already arraigned at the Correctional Services, Owerri.
Daily Times reports that some of the suspects were arrested at the drinking joints while others were picked along the toads after closing for the day’s business.
A woman, a mother of five whose husband was arrested pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that her husband came back from work and his food was not ready and he decided to patronized a nearby drinking joint where he arrested by armed soldiers,