Biafra leader, 500 others charged with treason, remanded

By Tony Edike

ENUGU — LEADER of Biafra Zionist Movement, BZM, Mr. Benjamin Onwuka, and about 500 members were, yesterday, charged for treason by an Enugu Magistrate Court for allegedly committing treasonable felony.

The court, however, remanded them in prison custody since the police did not have enough space to keep custody of the accused persons.

State Police Public Relations Office, PPRO, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the arraignment in a statement but did not give details of the arraignment done in secret.

The suspects had earlier been arrested by heavily armed policemen near Central Police Station on Coal Camp-Old Park Road during a peaceful procession that preceded what the group called formal re-declaration of independence of the Republic of Biafra in the early hours of yesterday.

Onwuka had, after his declaration speech, announced himself as the President of Biafran Republic, saying the ministers that would pilot the affairs of his government would be announced in due course.

Hundreds of diehard Biafran supporters attended the rally held at a football field at Mbanugo area of Coal Camp, Enugu.

The supporters wore vests bearing Biafra inscription and carried different flags, including those of the defunct Biafra Republic, United States and Israel as they sang pro-Biafra songs and danced around the arena.

After the ceremony that lasted for about an hour, Onwuka and his members embarked on a peaceful procession from Mbanugo, heading towards Ogbete Main Market area, acknowledging cheers from residents and motorists along the road.

But as they approached the Central Police Station, CPS, the Biafran supporters, who were mostly elderly men in their late 60s, who participated in the Nigerian civil war, were halted by policemen, led by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, Ikechukwu Mba.

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