Court Acquits Seven IPOB Supporters, Fines Police N130 Million As Damages

A Federal High Court in Abuja has discharged some supporters of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The court, in different suits, discharged about seven of Kanu’s supporters and also awarded fines amounting to N130 million to security operatives as damages.

According to Kanu’s counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, in the charge marked ‘FHC/ABJ/CR/475/2021, Justice M.O. Olajuwon of the Federal High Court in Abuja discharged Maria Ezediaro “of all frivolous criminal allegations/charge brought against her before the court.”

Ejiofor, in a statement, said, “She was arrested on February 26, 2021, when she visited the State CID, Owerri, Imo State Command to give food and medication to her friend who was detained there, and was subsequently transferred to the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team detention facility in ‘Abattoir,’ Abuja, where she was subjected to all forms of inhuman treatment, severe torture and degradation.

“However, following the refusal of the police to release her or charge her to court, we filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit on her behalf before the Federal High Court Abuja.

“Still on our application, she was granted bail by the court on April 21, 2022, and consequently released to us upon perfection of the bail conditions.

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“On October 10, 2023, following our application and submissions before the court, the Federal High Court, Abuja, per Hon. Justice M.O. Olajuwon, struck out the four counts of terrorism filed against Mrs Maria Ezediaro and consequently discharged her.”

According to him, Justice V.S. Gaba of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja discharged the Pastor of the Holy Trinity Sabbath Church, Orlu Imo State, Cletus Nwachukwu Egole; his wife, Ifeyinwa Egole, a prophet of Jewish Faith, Michael Uba, Ugochukwu Samuel; and Raphael Idang.

He said, “The court also granted them N100m compensatory damages against the police.”

Narrating the circumstances around their arrest, Ejiofor noted that they were arrested and subsequently paraded by the Imo State Command of the Nigeria Police on March 21, 2021, and later transferred to the IGP Intelligence Response Team detention facility in “Abattoir,” Abuja.

“Justice Z.B. Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Abuja also ordered the release of Ngozichukwu Ada-Dav and awarded N30m compensatory damages in her favour.

“Ada-Dav was arrested in June 2021 by a team of fully-armed operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and, after that, taken to the IGP/IRT located in Ikeja GRA, where she was detained in unlawful custody till July 3, 2021, when she was transferred to the Garki Command of the Nigeria Police, notoriously known as the Abattoir,” he added.