67 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have regained freedom after spending about nine months in prison custody in Owerri, Imo State.
Recall that the then commissioner of police in Imo State, Isaac Akinmoyede, while parading the arrested IPOB members last year, said that they were on their way to meet a native doctor to fortify them against bullet-penetration.
He said it was believed that the arrested IPOB members were planning an attack on security agencies, “with the aim of snatching weapons”.
Confirming their release to PremiumTimes, the IPOB members lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said they were released on February 1 after being granted bail by the Chief Judge of Imo State, Ijeoma Agugua.
“They were arrested on their way to a burial by some soldiers. After hours of interrogation, they were handed over to the police and the police detained them,” Ejiofor said.
“No doubt about it, they had disclosed their identity as IPOB members.”
“It must interest you to know that the proscription of IPOB is a subject of appeal in the Court of Appeal,” the lawyer to the IPOB members added.
“We have an application for stay of execution (on the proscription order).”
Ejiofor said IPOB remains a lawful organisation until the case against its proscription is decided at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
“The IPOB members are at all times exercising their rights as provided under the law, including their right to freedom of association.”
Ejiofor, who thanked the chief judge for being “courageous enough” to free the IPOB members, said the magistrate court did not have the jurisdiction to listen to the case, in the first instance, and that no charge was filed against the IPOB members.