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Men landed in trouble for wearing Biafra face masks

They are to pay N200,000 each for bail.

Friday, June 12, 2020

/ by National Pivot

Two persons were on Thursday arraigned in Abakaliki Magistrate Court for allegedly wearing face masks that bore an insignia of the Mass Movement for Actualization of Biafra (MASSOB) in the State.

The accused persons are Uchenna Innocent, and Areji Emmanuel, who are 36 and 46 years respectively.

The suspects wore the face masks, to protect themselves from the Novel Coronavirus pandemic when they were arrested by the Nigeria police.

It was alleged that they committed the offence on Ogoja Road, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state, on June 1, 2020.

They were arraigned on two count charge of conspiracy and breach of the peace.

The Police Prosecutor, ASP Mathias Eze, told the court that the offence was punishable under sections 516A (a) and 249 (d) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

The charge read, “that you Uchenna Innocent ‘m’, Areji Emmanuel and others at large on the 1st day of June, 2020, at Ogoja Road Abakaliki, in the Abakaliki Magisterial District, did conspire amongst yourselves to wit: misdemeanor to commit conduct likely to cause breach of peace and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516A (a) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

“That you Uchenna Innocent ‘m’, Areji Emmanuel and others at large on the same date, time, place and in the aforesaid Magisterial District did conduct yourselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by wearing Face masks belonging to a proscribed group known as MASSOB and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 249 (d) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”

The Defense Counsel, Barr Npiatu Esq, appealed to the court to admit his clients to bail, since the charges against them were bailable.

In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Anthony Nwusolor, granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N200,000.00 each.

The Magistrate further directed that the suspects should provide surety each, who must be a civil servant of grade 8 level. The surety must be resident with the jurisdiction of the court and must swear an affidavit of means.

The Chief Magistrate adjourned the matter till June 18, 2020, for hearing.

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