The Federal High Court sitting in Awka, the capital city of Anambra State, has acquitted 19 members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) after 14 years in a correctional facility.
The 19 members of MASSOB were arrested and detained in 2007 for treason and terrorism following their agitation for the creation of a sovereign state of Biafra during the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The trial judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, discharged and acquitted them on the 7-count charge of treason and terrorism.
The nineteen persons shed tears of joy after the court acquitted them of treason and terrorism charges and ordered their release after 15 years in detention.
One of those released, Casmir Odorka, pictured above, expressed gratitude to God for eventually setting him free after 15 years of being held in detention for a crime he never committed.
”I give God all the glory for my life. Over fifteen n years in prison but today, I am free”
One of the acquitted persons who couldn’t contain his joy after regaining his freedom fifteen years after his arrest said
”I am a businessman. I have two stores and I left them unlocked. They picked me up and took me to the police station. I told my neighbours that I would be coming back in the next one hour. This is the next one hour. 15 years. I left my shop unlocked. I didn’t know anything. Today I regained my freedom God be the glory. None of us died. I give God the glory”
Counsel to the acquitted persons, Okoli Akirika, said;
”The judge concluded that there was no iota or scintilla of evidence adduced by the prosecution against the defendants. It took more than fourteen years to come to this conclusion and this brings to the fore one of the defects in our criminal justice system. This is a case in which people wasted their youthful years.”
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