A total of 67 Biafra separatists arrested in various parts of Enugu State as part of Governor Peter Mbah’s efforts to end sit-at-home protests in the state have been remanded in prison custody.
Five members of the group were also allegedly killed by combined security agencies who were allegedly ordered by the State Government to end sit-at-home and all Biafra agitations in the state.
According to reports, members of the pro-Biafra movement were arrested in Eke-Obinagu and Independence Layout area respectively on May 29 and 30 during the Biafra Day commemoration activities in the State.
They include seven females and 60 males who were said to be between the ages of 50 and 70 years.
While 52 separatists were members of the Biafra Zionist Federation, 15 were members of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
A police officer who didn’t want his name mentioned in print, told our correspondent on Sunday, that the 67 pro-Biafra members were secretly arraigned before an Enugu North Magistrate Court that ordered their remand prison custody on Friday evening by Police after a security meeting with the new governor of the State.
The governor when briefed approved that the elderly men and women should be taken to court and that was the reason they were arraigned in court around 6:45 pm where a presiding magistrate ordered that they should be transferred to prison custody while the case file transferred to the department of public prosecution.
“Actually they were arrested on May 29 and 30 at Eke-Obinagu and Independence Layout area of the state capital during their so-called Biafra Day commemoration.
“Five members were neutralised during the operation. Those ones are members of IPOB during a raid in their camp in Eke-Obinagu. The operation was part of measures to end sit-at-home as directed by the state governor who has given the security agencies a marching order to crush anyone that foment trouble in the state in the name of Biafra agitations, ” the source said,
A warder at the Enugu Maximum Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service confirmed to our correspondent that the pro-Biafra members were brought to the Centre on Thursday and Friday respectively by 7:18 pm.
“The members were documented on Saturday because they were brought in the night and were mainly old people in their 60s and even 70s. According to some of them, they had concluded their prayers for the repose of those who died during the 30 months of bloody civil war and were about to go home when police and soldiers swooped on them.
“Some had gone to show you we have finished and nobody was carrying arms or carrying any weapons. So, is our offence that we gathered to pray for those of our brothers that were brutally killed during the civil war. Instead of the government declaring a public holiday every May 30 to remember those that were killed by bullets and starvation, the government is still waging war on the Biafran. The new governor wants to show his absolute loyalty to those who imposed him on Enugu State people,” the warder said.
Meanwhile, Governor Mbah has threatened to shut any market, school, or transport units that failed to open for businesses today (Monday) because of the illegal sit-at-home imposed in the state.