Aba Prison Officials Reject Under-aged IPOB Suspects


IPOB Agitators

Prison officials in Aba, Abia State have rejected six suspected members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) for the reason that they under-aged, reports said.

The Aba North Magistrate Court II, presided over by Magistrate, Ogbonna Adiele had ordered that the six suspected IPOB members be remanded in the Federal Prisons in Aba only for the prison officials to decline the order stating that it ran against their regulations.

The suspects, Chidiebube Ngozi, 15; Ebuka Sampson, 15; Isaiah Bassey , 15; David Okoro, 15; Ubabuko Tochukwu,15; Oluebube Okeke,15, were under age and ineligible to be admitted to prison because the minimum age of a prison inmate is 18 years.

The prison officials were said to have accepted three suspects; Ifeanyi Amobi, 18; Emmanuel John, 21; Chibuike Ugbor, 32 and Emmanuel Okon, 18, leaving the police team to return the underage to police custody contrary to the order of the court.

During their appearance in court, lawyer to the underaged suspects, Charles Onuchukwu was said to have reminded the court that the law does not permit the accused persons to be remanded in prison due to their age, pleading for the case to be struck out. He prayed the court to remand the underaged in the Remand Home, Aba.

But the magistrate insisted that he lacked the jurisdiction to hear the offence of murder and arson preferred against the accused and ordered them to be remanded in prison custody.

Meanwhile, condemnations have greeted the indiscriminate arrest and trial of persons suspected to be members of IPOB in Abia State.

Residents of the state have accused the Police and other security agencies of arbitrary arrest of persons who will be detained and later arraigned as members of IPOB behind the burning of Ariaria police station and urged Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to check the trend.

Many of the suspects will stay longer in prison as the magistrate court lacks jurisdiction to try murder and terrorism cases. The prisons in the state which were already over crowded above their capacities , are now over flowing with IPOB suspects.

I t was gathered that over 60 suspects are languishing at the Afara Prison, Umuahia while Aba has 24 at the city’s prison, excluding the 6 underage in police custody. It was gathered that over 50 persons are still in police detention waiting to be arraigned

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