DPO Injured as IPOB, Police Clash…Lawyer, Fiancee, Others, Arrested

A legal practitioner whose name was given as Barr. Orogwu and his pregnant wife-to-be have been arrested alongside other suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on 27th October, 2019, by the Ebonyi State Police Command, on the allegation that they were holding illegal meeting.

The said lawyer from Effium, in Ohaukwu Local Government Area was arrested with the fiancee during a clash between the police and the IPOB members on October 27th, 2019 when the police swooped on the proscribed group at Oguzoronweya Primary School, Ebonyi Local Government Area.

It was gathered that the IPOB members had gathered in the school for a meeting and that when the police got to the venue, some of the IPOB members were busy taking video photographs of their arrival before the police dispersed them.

A source close to the police however disclosed that the suspects have been arraigned on Monday and remanded in prison; with the matter adjourned to December 2019.

The source said the lawyer was preparing for his wedding slated for December and had gone to the place with his wedding card for distribution to his would-be guests.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Loveth Odah who confirmed the report said that the legal practitioner said he was the legal adviser of the IPOB but expressed surprise that they were carrying gun as IPOB is not known for carrying arms.

She said that the IPOB members attacked the DPO of Kpiripkiri Division with stone and other dangerous objects which got him injured and his helmet damaged by the group.

She warned the group against unlawful assembly in the state.

“The members of IPOB assembled unlawfully on 27th October, 2019 at Oguzoronweya Primary School in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State by 2:50pm.

“On receiving the information, the men of Operation Puff Adder in active collaboration with other security agencies were carrying out operation Show Force initiated by the Commissioner of Police.

“While they were at Ebonyi LGA, they sighted the members of IPOB where they assembled unlawfully. Before that of yesterday, we know them not to be carrying guns.

“But yesterday was very different. When police got to the area, to their greatest surprise, Mr. John John, the Kpirikpiri DPO, if not that he was fully kitted, would have been killed.

“By now you would have heard that a policeman in the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) was killed. They started hitting them with heavy stone.

“He had bruises all over his body. As if that was not enough, they started shooting. We have recovered a locally made gun from them. But police, professionally, never shot.

“The Jeep recovered actually belongs to the legal officer who was arrested. He is said to be planning his wedding expected to hold on 12th December, 2019. He went to that place to share his invitation card to the IPOB members.

“Many of them ran away but we were able to arrest about five or six of them. Police did not open fire on them. The only thing we did was to disperse them using teargas.

“The lawyer alongside his fiancé who was with him at the venue was also arrested. The fiancé fought tooth and nail to be freed with her man. She was arrested because is now an IPOB member.

“The IPOB members were all in their full uniform. We recovered 1 locally made pistol, 1 expended life cartridge, 3 ladies motorcycle, CG125 motorcycle, 1 Sumec generator, 3 fabricated speakers, a set of musical instrument, some plastic chairs, 7 pairs of canvas, a crate of Hero, 1 laptop computer, and 25 litres of palm wine.

Meanwhile, Ebonyi State Police Command, on Monday, before an Abakaliki Magistrates’ Court arraigned the six persons, for allegedly and unlawfully possessing dangerous firearms in the state.

The accused persons are Orogwu Ndubuisi, Odeh Sunday, Nwoba Chika, Orogwu Prescious, Edeh Samuel and Chinwendu Daniel.

They were arraigned on six-count charge bothering on unlawful possession of firearms, conspiracy, unlawful society, and others.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Mbam Chinedu, told the court that the accused persons committed the offences at Ugbodo Primary School, Ogbodo community, in the Ebonyi Local Government Area of the state on October, 27th.

He said the offences were punishable under sections 516A (a), 64, II (3) and 12 of both the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1 Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009 and the Ebonyi State Internal Security Enforcement and related matters Law, Cap 55, Vol. 2, Laws of Ebonyi State, 2009.

The charge read in part, “That you Orogwu Ndubuisi ‘m’, Odeh Sunday ‘m’, Nwoba Chika ‘m’, Orogwu Prescious ‘f’, Edeh Samuel ‘m’ and Chinwendu Daniel ‘m’ and others at large on the 27th day of October, 2019, at Ugbodo Community Primary School in the jurisdiction if this Honourable Court did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: unlawful possession of dangerous weapons and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 516A (a) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

“That you Orogwu Ndubuisi ‘m’, Odeh Sunday ‘m’, Nwoba Chika ‘m’, Orogwu Prescious ‘f’, Edeh Samuel ‘m’, Chinwendu Daniel ‘m’ and others at large on the 27th day of October, 2019, on the same date and place in the aforementioned Magisterial District, did conspire amongst yourselves to cause extreme fear to members of the public and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 516A(a) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria.

“That you Orogwu Ndubuisi ‘m’, Odeh Sunday ‘m’, Nwoba Chika ‘m’, Orogwu Precious ‘f’, Edeh Samuel ‘m’, Chinwendu Daniel ‘m’ and others at large on the same date and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District, did at a public place caused extreme fear on members of the public by being armed with machetes and other dangerous weapons and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 12 (2) of the Ebonyi State Internal Security Enforcement and related matters Law, Cap 55, Vol. 2, Law of Ebonyi State, 2009.”

The prayers of the accused persons were not taken by the court, and the charge was read over to the suspects.

The presiding Chief Magistrate, Nnenna Onuoha, said the court lacked jurisdiction to try the matter and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Centre Abakaliki, while the inventory in the file should be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution in the state for advice.

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