The detained coordinator of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Anioma/Ndokwa East region of Delta State, Mr. Emeka Okafor, has accused the police of arresting them out of fear of the growing popularity of the movement in Asaba, capital of Delta State.
The 52-year-old MASSOB leader who hails from Nkanu in Enugu State, was arrested and detained by the police on 8 August with five of his members who had earlier arrested four members of the movement the day before. They have been in police detention since the arrest.
Names of those arrested on August 6 as Ndubisi Ezeocha, 20, Francis Onuigbo, 28, Emeka Izigbo, 28 and Andrew Nwufulu, 26, adding that on August 7, “one Emeka Okafor ‘m’ aged 52 years, a native of Nkanu in Enugu State and the acclaimed leader of the group was arrested with five other suspects.”
The police had accused the suspects of attacking vigilante men at Powerline and Ominigboma areas of Asaba.
But Emeka who was paraded by the police before journalists in Asaba, denied attacking vigilante men in Asaba.
“This is a sector, how can we go and attack them. They are afraid that if MASSOB continues to be visible they would not continue to harass people. They are street people,” he said, adding “there were people that came there and wanted to sympathise with flood victims and three of my members went there. Unfortunately one of them who has not been given proper MASSOB training went with them.
“While there, they were pushing each other trying to get space and in the process the vigilante people slapped one of my boys and he retaliated. And then the vigilante people called policemen from ‘B’ Division. Instead of coming to settle the matter, the police started arresting our members, nothing again.”
He insisted that MASSOB remained a peaceful association that is going about its activities without intimidating, harassing or attacking members of the public, adding that they were attacked by crooks who removed everything that the police paraded as exhibits.
“We did not go on road block neither did we go on demonstration. We were at a place and they went there and searched everything. Those boys are crooks, they searched everywhere and brought out these moneys. The money is for me, we keep it knowing that it is a legal tender to the Biafran people, so we hide it because we know the quality of it,” he stated.
Earlier while parading the suspects, Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Police Command, ASP Lucky Uyabeme, said they would be charged to court at the end of investigation.
He listed the items recovered from the suspects to include 114 Biafran flags, two boots, 129 Biafran pounds and ten shillings.
Others items were 32 membership forms and other documents, ten pairs of complete Biafran uniforms with name tags, three cutlasses, seven hard cover notebooks for minutes of meeting, two military belts and one expended cartridge.
Uyabeme said the Command would not allow any part of the state to be used as breeding ground for any criminal activity, insisting that acts of the suspects were “treasonable and the government will not condone such lawlessness.”
Source: PM News
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