Police Arraign Man, 75, 14 Others for Conspiracy

By Oginyi Ruth

Police in Ebonyi State on Wednesday arraigned a 75-year-old man, Nweze Fidelis and 14 other persons before an Abakaliki Magistrate’s court, for an alleged conspiracy, assault and breach of peace in the state and its environment.
They were arraigned on the three-count charge.

The suspects, mostly aged men were members of Abakpa Market Traders.
The market had been locked up for over two weeks following a fracas that broke out between the traders and government tax agents.

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The accused persons were arrested by the Police on August 28, at the Abakpa Market, for allegedly disobeying the Ebonyi State Government’s order to pay their taxes or face eviction from the market.

The Police Prosecutor, ASP Eze Mathias, told the court that the accused persons committed the offense at Abakpa Main Market, Abakaliki, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, on August 28, 2019.

Police said that, the offenses were punishable under sections 516A (a) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2019; 15 of Ebonyi State Miscellaneous Offences Law No. 010; 249 (d) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1 Laws of Ebonyi State Nigeria, 2019; and, 333 of the Criminal Code Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2019.

The charge read, “That you Nweze Fidelis ‘M’, Nwite Titus ‘M’, Eze Nwanta ‘M’, Agwagom Ignatius ‘M’, Akannu Sabastine ‘M’, Emeka Uba ‘M’, Simon Ominiyi ‘M ‘, Dandy Eselu ‘M ‘, Pius Omewa ‘M’, David Nwoke ‘M ‘ Alex Oragudozi ‘M’, Christopher Ejim ‘M ‘, Christopher Nnadiekwe ‘M ‘, Patrick Eze and others at large, on the 28th day of August 2019, at Abakaliki Main Market Abakaliki in the jurisdiction of this court did conspire amongst yourselves to commit misdemeanor to wit: conduct likely to cause breach of the 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, 2019.
“That you Nweze Fidelis ‘M’, Nwite Titus ‘M’, Eze Nwanta ‘M’, Agwagom Ignatius ‘M’, Akannu Sabastine ‘M’, EmekaUba ‘M ‘, Simon Ominiyi ‘M’, Dandy Eselu ‘M’, Pius Omewa ‘M’, David Nwoke ‘M’ Alex Oragudozi ‘M’, Christopher Ejim ‘M’, Christopher Nnadiekwe ‘M’, Patrick Eze and others at large, on the same date, place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did conduct yourselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by refusing to vacate the shops at Abakpa Main Market, which the Government has revoked the right of occupancy which amounts to violation or contravention of section 15 of Ebonyi State Miscellaneous Offences LAW No. 010 and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 249 (d) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2019.

‘That you Patrick Eze ‘M’ and others at large, on the same date, place and in the aforesaid Magisterial District did assault one Mark Onu by pushing him and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 355 of the Criminal Code Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria.”

The Chief Magistrate, G.U. Omiko, considered the age and health condition of the accused and granted them bail in the sum of N100, 000 each with one surety in like sum. The surety must produce his or her two passport photographs, swear to an affidavit of means and provide evidence of his or her tax clearance in the past three years.

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