A Chief Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt has discharged and acquitted thirty-five members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB who were arrested during a solidarity rally for US President, Donald Trump on January 23rd.
Magistrate Sokari Andrew-Jaja discharged the IPOB members because of lack of diligent prosecution by the Police and Director of Public Prosecution in Rivers state.
The Chief Magistrate criticized the Police and the DPP for allowing the court remand the suspects for 37 days.
Speaking with newsmen, Counsel to the IPOB members, David Onyema accused the police of deliberately keeping the arrested suspects in remand for no absolute reason.
“This matter has been adjourned several times simply because the Police and DPP failed to come up with any evidence against my clients’’.
“Those men have been remanded in prison for more than thirty days. Then why do you keep holding if you don’t have anything against them’’.
“The Magistrate told them that if there is no noble course against the defendants it will be in the interest of the Police and the DPP to stand down the trial’’.
“We commend the court for its bravery in taking this decision,” he said.