Barely 48hrs after men of the Imo State Police Command clashed with members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, in Owerri, the police yesterday arraigned 62 members of the group before Owerri Chief Magistrate Court 1.
Addressing newsmen in Owerri, the state Commissioner of Police, Austin Evbakavbokun confirmed that that no fewer than 68 members of the group were arrested at the weekend, when the group stormed the state capital in a manner capable of causing breach of peace.
The commissioner further hinted that the 62 MASSOB members were arraigned yesterday morning for conspiracy and belonging to an unlawful society and conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
He disclosed that MASSOB members stormed the capital city from all directions in fully loaded buses and took to the streets, allegedly in celebration of their fallen heroes.
Evbakavbokun stated that the men of the command dispersed the group who took over parts of Port Harcourt Road in the capital city without prior notice to the police, clad in attires marked MASSOB and displaying several insignia like flag of Biafra.
He also added that the members were chanting war songs and barricaded the roads, thereby obstructing free flow of traffic before his men moved in to disperse them.
“Those who came out that day I am sure never knew how the Biafra war was fought and won, we have one nation, how can two flags be in one nation, what they are doing is subversive and the security cannot close their eyes, we have to guide our nation, gone are the days when this kind of thing happen,” Evbakavbokun said.
He further disclosed that policemen recovered several items from the arrested members which included Biafra uniforms, Biafra identity cards, Biafra flags and some buses.
It would be recalled that some MASSOB members at the weekend moved in convoy towards the Imo State capital before being halted by the police at the popular Assumpta roundabout, Control Post in Owerri.
Reacting, the assistant national director of Information, MASSOB, Mazi Sunday Okereafor condemned continued police intimidation and harassment of members of the group despite their peaceful disposition.
He accused the police of destroying 45 of their buses and arresting 73 of their members during the peaceful celebration.
He disclosed that some of the arraigned members were granted bail yesterday by the magistrate court and others remanded.
Okereafor, who stated that hearing on the case was adjourned till July 28, urged the police to be civil in handling issues affecting the group to avoid them going violent like other militias in other parts of the country.

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