Report by Biafra Reporters
August 1, 2017

The atmosphere of the Anambra State High Court in Onitsha was charged with excitement and celebration as the presiding judge, Justice Ike Ogwu, discharged and acquitted on the two count charge of kidnapping and murder against 17 Biafran activists of Biafra National Guard led by Innocent Orji.

Innocent Orji was arrested in 2007 and charged with murder and kidnapping; his pregnant wife was arrested alongside but charged with abetting crime. Despite the fact that she was pregnant as at the time of her arrest; she was thrown into detention where she gave birth to her first issue. She has also spent ten years in detention without trial alongside his husband.

While passing his judgment on the July 31, 2017; the trial Judge noted that there was no evidence to prove that the accused committed murder but in his confessional statement; he admitted to being the leader of Biafra National Guard which was the group said to have kidnapped the deceased.

Innocent Orji stressed that he was never involved in any form of crime but was a target of Nigerian government clampdown on Biafra agitators. He further said he was wrongly accused to give Nigerian government reason to cow him into relinquishing his struggle for the restoration of Biafra.

Though, Innocent Orji was convicted for kidnapping but acquainted of murder and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment without option of fine, but having spent over 10 years in detention he is liable to be released.

Recall, our journalist Ifeanyi Chijioke had spoken exclusively to Innocent Orji during his incarceration and revealed every detail that led to his arrest and prosecution. He had accused former MASSOB leader, Uwazuirike, of masterminding his arrest because of his confrontation stance against the former MASSOB leader whom he accused of sabotaging the struggle for the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra.

It became relevant to ensure his release after ten years without the prosecution providing a witness or evidence to buttress the accusation levied against him.

“I decided to fight for his release because justice was denied; he can’t be languishing in detention without trial. It is time we fought for the helpless and those incarcerated for the sake of Biafra; they have not committed any crime but expressing their right to self determination” Ifeanyi Chijioke said.

Innocent Orji had left the prison as at the time of filing this report while his wife and other defendants charged with treasonable felony still push for justice.

Compiled and edited by Chima Onyekachi and Ifeanyi Chijioke

Published by Chinwe Korie



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