A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Port Harcourt on Friday granted bail on grounds of health to one of 45 Biafra separatists standing trial.
The Chief Magistrate, Andrew Jaja, granted Emmanuel Nnamani bail in the sum of N50,000 after considering that he was almost losing one of his eyes.
Mr. Jaja and other 44 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), are standing trial on a two-court charge of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and display of unruly behaviour.
They were arrested in Port Harcourt during the IPOB solidarity rally for the inauguration of the United States’ President Donald Trump on January 20.
He was reportedly struck in his right eye by security agents before his arrest.
The chief magistrate also issued a hearing notice to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police or the state Attorney General to appear in court to explain reasons why the accused should not be granted bail.
“Hearing notice would be served the Attorney General or the commissioner of police to come and show cause why the accused persons should not be released unconditionally pending the advice of the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution),” Mr. Jaja said.
He explained that the attorney general or the commissioner of police would be given 10 days to appear before the court.
The accused were remanded in prison custody while the case was adjourned to March 3.
Earlier, the Counsel to IPOB, Inalagwu Adoga, had prayed the court to grant the accused persons bail since their case files had not reached the Department of Public Prosecution.
Mr. Adoga explained that it would be in the interest of justice for the court to grant the suspects bail.
He also prayed the court to grant Mr. Nnamani bail due to his worsening eye problem.
Speaking to journalists after the court session, Mr. Adoga called on the Federal and Rivers state governments to resolve the Biafra agitation amicably like that of the Niger Delta issue.
“The Biafra situation started 51 years ago. It has been lingering on and on.
“I have written to the Federal Government for a dialogue to end this matter before it gets out of hand.
“I think it is time for the Federal Government to sit down and call on the leadership of IPOB to discuss the matter,” he said.
Mr. Adoga appealed to the government to exercise caution.